Critical Writings, 1953-1978 (Theory and History of by Paul de Man

By Paul de Man

This quantity brings jointly 25 essays and experiences via Paul De guy, Sterling Professor of Literature, Yale college

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Extra info for Critical Writings, 1953-1978 (Theory and History of Literature, Volume 66)

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They are marginal texts and would be of no more interest than his slight essays for the student literary review Les Cahiers du Libre Examen were it not that they are part and parcel of a whole aesthetic politics that is de Man's starting point and that he hoped to have moved beyond in his writings in the 1950s and 1960s, but not without indirect comment as some of the essays included in this volume reveal. Inwardness Much of romanticism is founded upon enchantment. The nationalism, political and aesthetic, that dominated Germany and other parts of Europe in the 1930s and 1940s was a consequence of certain aspects of romanticism.

Heidegger, whom Sartre claimed as an authority, rejected Sartre's idea that existentialism is a humanism in the rebuke, Letter on Humanism (1947): "The basic tenet of 'existentialism' has nothing at all in common with the statement from Being and Time. " The consciousness of life which discovers that life as presented to it is not genuine life but only contingency is here identified with the consciousness of contradiction, that is, the consciousness of the I that is internally rent. . This unhappy consciousness is subjectivity, which aspires to the repose of unity; it is self-consciousness as consciousness of life and of what exceeds life.

Eliot, rewrote literary history to undermine the periods in which the emphasis on subjectivism he and Babbitt found in Rousseau had any dominance. " The alternative was the dreaded "dissociation of sensibility,"79 the failure to subordinate feeling to reason that sets in when there is any undue emphasis on the person of the poet. Eliot believed he could rather precisely date time periods in which this dissociation of sensibility was acutely felt, and notable among them were the moments of the English Revolution and romanticism.

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