This essay pays tribute to the work of D. A. Miller, focusing in particular on the sociological dimensions of his criticism. Miller is often understood as a purely formalist critic; I argue that his formalism is in tension with a mapping of social and material realities, including not only the conditions of modern gay urban life but also social class in the postwar United States. Following biographical traces throughout his writing, I place him in relation to the tradition of the “scholarship boy” and suggest that secrecy and shame in his work are indexed not only to sexual but also to economic marginality.

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