A Registering of Transformations: Alex Miller’s The Passage Of Love


  • Nicholas Birns New York University


Alex Miller, autofiction, Robert Dixon.


This essay discusses Alex Miller’s most recent novel, The passage of Love, (2017) in the light of the conspectus on Miller’s work offered by Robert Dixon’s 2014 study of Miller, The Ruin of Time. Despite Miller and Dixon having relatively different intellectual stances, Dixon has brought to bear both theoretical platforms and a deep immersion in Australian literary and cultural history to analyze Miller's work. This essay tries to continue in that tradition, analyzing Miller’s practice of the originally French genre of autofiction and the way this practice is tied in with a set of ethical dilemmas related to the registering of post-Holocaust and post-Mabo trauma as well as his own experience and those of his friends and lovers. In discussing how Miller’s surrogate, Robert Crofts, tries as a migrant from Britain to make a life for himself on an Australian continent with its own tragic history, the essay analyzes how Miller's practice of autofiction speaks to the particular circumstances of Australian literature within world literary space. 


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