The force at issue in this study resists becoming one. It is less a capacity than an incapacity expressed by the irreducible plurality of language as a communicative medium. This incapacity makes it possible to speak of an unforce or an adynamism in language. Aristotle states that "every force is unforce," insofar as forcefulness and forcelessness are both defined in relation to the same thing, namely, a power over or a possession of something. Unforce is a modification, specifically a lack or "privation" (steresis), of force (Metaphysics 1046a 29–30). Like force, unforce also resists becoming one and must be understood, Aristotle points out, in multiple ways: "It is applied (1) to anything which does not possess a certain attribute; (2) to that which would naturally possess it, but does not, either (a) in general, or (b) when it would naturally possess it; and either (1) in a particular way, e.g., entirely, or (2) in any way at all. And in some cases if things which would naturally possess some attribute lack it as the result of constraint, we say that they are ‘deprived'" (Metaphysics 1046a 30–35). Simply not having something else, not having something else that should be had—either altogether, for the time being, only to a certain extent, or in a certain way—all of these are states of the "privation" of force that Aristotle calls non- or unforce. Martin Heidegger insists that the non- and un- of non- and unforce "are not merely negations" (in that case the un- would unify and reduce the multiplicity of unforce and thus of force) (Aristoteles "Metaphysik," 109; Aristotle's "Metaphysics," 92). As a "negativum," Heidegger proposes, the steresis—what he translates as the "withdrawal" (Entzug)—of unforce "does not simply stand beside the positive of force but haunts this force in the force itself (lauert dieser in ihr selbst auf), and this because every force of this type according to its essence is invested with divisiveness (Zwiespältigkeit), and so with a ‘not'" (Aristoteles "Metaphysik," 154; Aristotle's "Metaphysics," 132). Unforce is an internal lack or a loss that "haunts" or "lies in wait of" force: it is the impending death or, as Heidegger suggests, "the inner finitude" of force. . . . Where there is force and power," he concludes, "there is finitude" (Aristoteles "Metaphysik," 158; Aristotle's "Metaphysics," 135).
What I am calling poetic force bears within it the "not" of unforce. It resists the unity of oneness but also the multiplicity of a finite or even an infinite set of individual forces in language. It is marked by the "divisiveness" of force and unforce that Heidegger underlines in Aristotle and thus expresses a finitude and multiplicity internal to language. The study of poetic force calls for a capacity to be affected by a "privation" or "withdrawal" of force—asteresis of unforce in language. Kant claims that certain spectacles of natural power affect us mentally as a privation of cognitive force. The incapacity experienced as what he calls the "dynamic sublime" gives the feeling of the supersensible force of reason (of its superiority over the cognitive faculty). The criterion of this feeling, Kant argues, is its communicability: we must be able to communicate it. Thus the finitude of the cognitive faculty that is overcome by the feeling of the dynamic sublime returns in the capacity (and incapacity) to communicate. The communicability of the feeling bears the inner finitude and divisiveness of force and the "privation" or "withdrawal" of force that Heidegger explicates in Aristotle's Metaphysics. The poets, according to Kant, exemplify this ability to communicate the feeling of the supersensible force of reason. Not only able to see the world in a way that goes beyond cognitive experience—as withdrawing from a capacity to possess it mentally in the form of something extended in space and time—the poets are also capable of communicating the feeling of seeing the world "merely (bloß) . . . in accordance with what its appearance shows" (AA 5: 270;Critique of the Power of Judgment, 152–53). But the capacity of poetic language to exceed the grasp of empirical consciousness—for example, by breaking free from spatial and temporal metaphors that draw on an empirical view of the world—does not simply make it into a medium of rational or philosophical communication after Kant. The ability to communicate the feeling of reason transcending cognitive experience also brings with it internally a "withdrawal" of communicability. The language of the poets expresses the capacity and the incapacity to communicate the feeling of the divisive finitude of reason as a force and an unforce.
The irreducible tension between force and unforce that Heidegger amplifies in Aristotle is at the crux of Nietzsche's approach to art, and especially to lyric poetry. Indeed Heidegger's 1931 lecture course on the first three chapters of book 9 of the Metaphysics opens up a reading of force along lines that extend through his interpretation, from the late 1930s and early 1940s, of Nietzsche's theory of "the will to power as art." The guiding question of Heidegger's inquiry—whether the theory of "the will to power" constitutes a metaphysics of immanence—turns on the evidence of Nietzsche's adherence to an uncritical concept of force (of belief in a force without unforce). There can be no doubt about Nietz sche's commitment to the primacy of aesthetic experience in human life. This experience, he asserts, suspends the traditional teleological reductions of the truth of human existence promoted by religion and in particular Christianity, on the one hand, and by what Nietzsche regards as the cult of reason instituted by Greek philosophy, on the other. Instead of a means to an end—something ultimately to be redeemed by faith in God or in reason—man as a living, thinking being is, according to Nietzsche, primarily a "way" (Genealogie, 340; Genealogy, 66). But this way is the manifestation, not of one, but rather of multiple forces that act on and as human being and that keep its path open by resisting preconceived purposes. And the capacity of human being—what we call living—is expressed above all, he argues, as an "incapacity not to react" to forces that resist, not only conscious awareness of the cognitive faculty (as in Kant), but also the transcendent ends of a supposedly truer existence from which we are separated by life. Under the influence of these forces, living becomes an aesthetic phenomenon: what Nietzsche describes as "an aesthetic doing and seeing" (Götzendämmerung, 116; Twilight, 46). Such aestheticization does not result in a beautiful image of life in the form of a self-contained medium of human existence, like the image of a particular individual or of mankind in general progressing toward a redemptive goal or purpose. Rather, the forces in question produce interruptions in movements toward such a unifying and ultimately false soteriological end. This incapacity breaks free from cognitive constraints while also resisting determination by an end to which living is subordinated, whether it be the end of what Kant calls a "purposiveness without purpose," or the end of remaining a self-integrated individual or collective entity that can be saved as such. Nietzsche's approach to language as the medium of such forces (and unforces), and his interrogation of the connection between language and power, have been exceptionally influential in recent decades. Important work in history, philosophy, and literary criticism has started from the Nietzschean characterization of truth as "an army of metaphors" and his declaration that the "lordly right" (Herrenrecht) of giving names to things points to the origin of language itself as an "expression of power by the rulers" (Machtäußerung der Herrschenden) ("Wahrheit und Lüge," 374, and Genealogie, 274; "On Truth," 46, and Genealogy, 13).
In what follows I propose that this reflection on linguistic force and its connection to poetry can be traced ultimately to a thesis implicit in Kantian philosophy: that of an a priori capacity of language to free itself from having empirical content. This linguistic capacity, which is derived indirectly from a cognitive incapacity, emerges as a key motif or theme in Kant's thinking. But by virtue of its very ability to communicate or produce the feeling of the faculty of reason, this force of language is also accompanied by an unforce that must be felt in Kant's writing even as it remains (perhaps aptly) unstressed. In this sense the productivity of the poetic force emerging in Kantian philosophy is haunted by the unproductivity of apoetic unforce.
The following chapters are devoted to outlining the theory of this force (and unforce) in Kant, and in the writing of three poets working in diverse languages and different intellectual contexts more or less directly influenced by Kantian philosophy. The first poet is Friedrich Hölderlin. In immediate contact with the Kantian exposition of an aesthetic force exceeding sensible comprehension, Hölderlin also develops a theory of poetry and of poetic language predicated on an adynamic interruption in the sphere of supersensible ends—a radical pause in verse that he developed along the lines of the caesura in Sophoclean tragedy. The effects of this halting point are evident in the way Hölderlin's poetry reacts to the most powerful political event of his age, the French Revolution. Of particular significance is the way this reaction diverges from that of Kant, the philosopher whose critical project exerted the greatest influence over Hölderlin's thinking. For Hölderlin, as for Kant, the empirical event of the revolution was certainly of enormous import. Yet of still greater consequence to both was the feeling that it gave to those who looked on from afar. For Kant it was the supersensible feeling of mankind progressing on the path to a "republican constitution"—a forceful feeling of humanity's capacity for progressive development and of an ability to communicate this capacity that must be attributed to every member of the species. There is plenty of evidence that Hölderlin shared this sentiment. But ultimately the poet was also left with a feeling of what goes beyond, not just the empirical event, but also the feeling of the ability to communicate the promise of human progress that the event appears to make. The poet in Hölderlin is also affected by a revolutionary incapacity of mankind to serve as a medium of progressive history. In the particular case of the 1801 poem "Celebration of Peace," which I examine in detail below, the poet is shown intercepting the direction of a world history that is driven by the goal of global domination, and thus of war, as well as by the higher end of gradual republican development over time. This poetic intervention does not change the course of history and establish a millennium of peace. Nothing that happens in the years and decades following the composition of the poem supports such a claim. Yet, in a sense that is captured by the irony of Kant's famous essay written during these same years, the peace of the poem exists and persists on paper in the form of the poem itself that did not in fact appear in print until the middle of the 1950s, when the manuscript turned up in London. The revolutionary peace celebrated by the poem is marked, in other words, as a strange persistence of a piece of writing demonstrating its incapacity to give the feeling of a time transformed into a self-consistent medium of rational historical development.
The exemplarity of Hölderlin's poetry for twentieth-century literary criticism has been recognized for some time. But the specific theory of force (and unforce) connecting this poetic output to the philosophical genealogy I have outlined has yet to receive specific attention. This link is fundamental, however, to the work of one of the most significant literary critical projects to emerge during the years immediately following the appearance of the first collection of Hölderlin's writings in the second decade of the twentieth century, that of Walter Benjamin. The term poetic force appears nowhere in Benjamin's work. But beginning with his early essay on Hölderlin the theory of such a force is at work in Benjamin's criticism. In his early Hölderlin essay, but also his late studies of Baudelaire, Benjamin is receptive to the unforce underlined by Heidegger in Aristotle's discussion of force. The first three chapters of this book seek to elucidate this aspect of Benjamin's critical approach to nineteenth-century poetry, and to follow its lead. The last chapter argues for the importance of a divisive interpenetration of force and unforce in the critical writings of Paul de Man. An early encounter with Hölderlin, which parallels in an important way that of Benjamin, led de Man to make some valuable suggestions about poetry and force in the work and literary career of Matthew Arnold—suggestions that I pursue further.
Among the earliest entries on Baudelaire that Benjamin made as part of his unfinished study of nineteenth-century Paris is one containing a quotation from Paul Valéry. According to Valéry, Baudelaire's poetry must be understood as a response to an imperative comparable to the declaration of reason of state in the political realm. Although neither Valéry nor Benjamin mention it, this political principle that all means can be justified to the extent that they contribute to the end of preserving the state is the subject of a book that Baudelaire read with admiration at a moment when he was about to compose some of his greatest poetry. The book in question carries the title Histoire de la raison d'État, published in 1860 by the Italian philosopher and politician Giuseppe Ferrari, whom Baudelaire placed in his pantheon of "literary dandies" (Correspondance, 128). Ferrari's interpretation of a world history driven by the efforts of sovereigns and sovereign states to dissimulate their ultimate goal of maintaining political power corresponds to the vision of everyday experience that informs Baudelaire's poetry. On one level many of the poems and in particular the prose poems that were composed in the early 1860s dramatize in the daily existence of the poet the hypocritical self-justification outlined by Ferrari's world historical survey. In this sense it is possible to read many of Baudelaire's poems as documenting the ruses by which the "I"—like the "hypocritical reader" of The Flowers of Evil—seeks to cover up a self-centered will to power. But Benjamin suggests another way of building on Valéry's comment. Reason of state is declared for Baudelaire, according to Benjamin, in the name of an experience that resists the ability of the "I" to become conscious of it. This experience not only rejects cognitive processing; it also refuses to give the "I" the feeling of a higher purpose beyond the range of the life of which it is conscious. Instead, the "I" is left with the feeling of the disappearance or, to use Benjamin's word, the "decline" of such an ideal. Needless to say, this experience is hardly fulfilling. On the contrary, it is endlessly pointless: it points nowhere and is subject to ceaseless repetition. Yet, as Benjamin's adoption of the term reason of state asserts, the feeling of this experience is imposed as the supreme law of Baudelairean "modernity." The poet is incapable of not responding to it, even if there is precisely no "it" with which this sovereign force can be consciously identified. The reaction is thus on the order of an act of faith that is freed from thecommand to believe in something. In this sense the reason of state to which Benjamin alludes in Baudelaire is marked by what Derrida has characterized as "the experience of belief," in an interpretation of Nietzsche and Heidegger that, as I suggest in an epilogue to this book, extends the philosophical genealogy of what I am calling poetic force (Foi et savoir, 95; Acts of Religion, 97).
The capacity of language to break free from cognitive metaphors is the subject of a late lecture by Paul de Man on the dynamic sublime in Kant. The source of this reading goes back, ultimately, to an early encounter with Hölderlin, as de Man indicates elsewhere (Rhetoric of Romanticism, ix). This encounter, I suggest, places de Man on the literary critical path opened up by Benjamin in his own early confrontation with Hölderlin. De Man's Gauss lectures of the mid-1960s, which are pivotal to the development of his late work, including the lecture on Kant, apply his reading of Hölderlin to Wordsworth in a way that introduces into the heart of British Romanticism a critical deconstruction of Heidegger's tendency to align portions of Hölderlin's poems too directly with the force of authentic "being." The reading of Wordsworth offered by de Man reveals precisely that aspect of the British Romantic's work that becomes the occasion for one of Matthew Arnold's early poems, "Resignation." In an essay on the anxious response of the Victorians to Wordsworth, de Man correctly diagnoses a certain defensiveness on the part of Arnold toward the peculiar "powers" of the Romantic poet (Rhetoric of Romanticism, 86). These "powers" are undoubtedly troubling to the author of Culture and Anarchy and "The Function of Criticism at the Present Time," whose theory of culture and of poetry, its highest manifestation, is informed by the "aesthetic ideology" that de Man attributes to Friedrich Schiller's misreading of Kant. But this assessment of Arnold overlooks the decisive precondition for the development of the theory of culture: Wordsworth's poetry exposes the divisiveness and finitude internal to the lyrical force, and more precisely unforce, affecting Arnold's own work as a poet during the first two decades of his career. Thus the cultural turn in Arnold's work of the mid-1860s seeks to bring to an end an early experience discovered in Wordsworth—that of an incapacitating affect haunting the very potentiality of poetic language, its impending lack of force. It is on the divisive strength of such an experience, I argue, that the poem "Resignation" ultimately allows for the incapacity exposed in Wordsworth's poetry. In this early work the effort to surpass the Romantic poet gives way to the very element to which Wordsworth's greatest poetry already yields. As an illustration I demonstrate how "Resignation" ultimately resists the urge not to repeat the caesura erupting in Wordsworth's "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey." In light of this analysis, Arnold's cultural program appears as the anxious attempt to convert the ambiguous force linking his early poetry to Wordsworth into the redemptive power of culture set forth in his theory of criticism. This development at the midpoint in Arnold's career turns on his interpretation of the category of the messianic in the letters of Saint Paul. The function of Arnoldian criticism is in the end the individual and collective redemption promised by the messianic force of culture.
Arnold has been condemned for promoting a religion of culture founded on the belief in the redemptive power of literary works. The poetic force that concerns me in this book could also be seen to require a certain kind of belief. Not, however, a belief in poetry or even in poetic language, but rather an attestation to an experience of the capacity of language to free itself from sensible and supersensible ends while nevertheless remaining open to the finitude and divisiveness that comes with this linguistic force. There is a powerful tendency today to reduce experience to the neurophysiological processes of cognition based on a heightened fascination with the brain. Resistance to this neurocentric tendency often consists in asserting the power of the human mind—for example, the creative capacity of the imagination—to transcend the limitations of empirical experience. This debate renews the question posed by aesthetics in eighteenth-century philosophy in a way that calls for another return to Kant, and in particular to his insistence on the communicability of an empirically unaccountable feeling as the ground of human community. But going back in this case means returning to a force that is unfamiliar and unrecognizable from the traditional perspective of a unifying faculty transcending empirical experience. A reconsideration of what is for Kant the exemplary manifestation of communicability and communability—the language of the poets—leads instead to a confrontation with a dynamic force that emerges exclusively within the horizon of its potential adynamism. Thus the return to Kant that is proposed in the following chapters introduces a modification in the terms of the traditional resistance to empiricism, avoiding an aesthetic as well as an empiricist ideology. It is confronted by the possibility of a force of language that resists cognitive determination, without denying the divisive finitude accompanying this very resistance. Returning to Kant's aesthetics in this way means becoming mindful of an aspect of collective human existence that arises from the feeling of incommunicability haunting the ability to communicate.
Recently Werner Hamacher has advocated for this feeling and for the study of this feeling of communicability and incommunicability. Hamacher makes the case in the name of philology, not in the traditional sense of the academic discipline devoted to the analysis of languages as historical and morphological objects, but as the inquiry and the questioning of a feeling of "friendship" (philia) with language (logos) as an ambiguous and fragile medium of community. Hamacher's provocative philological project insists on the withdrawal from communicability that comes with the communicability of language. If the capacity of language to communicate, as Kant argues, connects us to and reminds us of others in the possession of a similar ability, the incapacity of language to communicate removes this possession—of having an ability to communicate—as the ground of a relation to others. Such incommunicability occurs, not just as an inability to have possession of language (in the sense that "having" a language is sometimes meant to signify mastery of the proper use of a particular language), but also an incapacity of language to have anything. It is, in short, a withdrawal of havingfrom language: an unforce that dispossesses and empties language. This is what Hamacher calls an "openness of language," or more precisely, in order to stress the elimination of every hint of possession, an "openness to language" (Sprachoffenheit). Above all poetry, Hamacher argues, makes it possible to speak of such "openness to language" and of the fellow feeling of this philia as a certain linguistic pathos: "And philology shares this pathos with everyone who speaks or writes, a fortiori with the poets, who speak of nothing other than the experience of openness to language: of language-possibility under conditions of its improbability, of language power under conditions of its power lessness, of power within the horizon of its withdrawal (Entzugs). Poetry is the most unreserved philology and only therefore can it attract the privileged and persistent attention of philologists" (Für—Die Philologie, 33–34).
The philological community of which Hamacher writes is marked by the withdrawal of communicability. It exists as a public sphere (eine Öffentlichkeit) that is open to language (eine Sprachoffenheit). It raises the possibility of a communal human being arising from the feeling of a communicability—of a philological sociability and a socius emerging out of philology—that is threatened by the divisive finitude of incommunicability. Inquiring into the existence of such an endangered communability would require, perhaps first of all, the rigorous study of the capacity and incapacity of what I am calling poetic force. If, as Hamacher proposes, "poetry is first philology," poetic force names the primal ability and inability of philological community (Für—Die Philologie, 14). The following chapters proceed from this thesis.
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Paul de Man (December 6, 1919 – December 21, 1983), born Paul Adolph Michel Deman, was a Belgian-born literary critic and literary theorist. At the time of his death, de Man was one of the most prominent literary critics in the United States—known particularly for his importation of German and French philosophical approaches into Anglo-American literary studies and critical theory.[not verified in body] Along with Jacques Derrida, he was part of an influential critical movement that went beyond traditional interpretation of literary texts to reflect on the epistemological difficulties inherent in any textual, literary, or critical activity.[not verified in body] This approach aroused considerable opposition, which de Man attributed to "resistance" inherent in the difficult enterprise of literary interpretation itself.
De Man began his teaching career in the United States at Bard College. In 1960 he completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University, then taught at Cornell University, Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Zurich. He joined the faculty in French and Comparative Literature at Yale University, where he was considered part of the Yale School of Deconstruction. At the time of his death from cancer, he was Sterling Professor of the Humanities and chairman of the Department of Comparative Literature at Yale. De Man oversaw the dissertations of Gayatri Spivak (at Cornell), Barbara Johnson (at Yale),[not verified in body]Samuel Weber (at Cornell), and many other noted scholars.
After his death, a researcher uncovered some two hundred previously unknown articles which de Man had written in his early twenties for Belgian collaborationist newspapers during World War II, some of them implicitly and two explicitly anti-Semitic. These, in combination with revelations about his domestic life and financial history, caused a scandal and provoked a reconsideration of his life and work.
Paul de Man was born in Antwerp, Belgium, to a prominent and cultivated upper-class Flemish family. His maternal great-grandfather was the noted Flemish Poet, Jan Van Beers, and the family spoke French at home. His uncle Henri de Man (Dutch: Hendrik) was a famous socialist theorist and politician, who became a Nazi-collaborator during World War II. Paul's father, Robert ("Bob") de Man, was a moderately successful businessman whose firm manufactured X-ray equipment. De Man's father and his mother, Madeleine De Braey, who were first cousins, married over the family's opposition. The marriage proved unhappy.
De Man's early life was difficult and shadowed by tragedy. His mother Madeleine's first pregnancy with her oldest son Hendrik ("Rik," b. 1915) coincided with the intense German bombings of World War I and strained her physical and mental health. The stillbirth of a daughter two years later pushed her into intermittent but lifelong suicidal depression. She was psychologically fragile and had to be watched. The family walked on eggshells and "Bob" de Man found solace with other women. In contrast to Rik, who was backward and a failure in school, Paul dealt with his difficult home life by becoming a brilliant student and accomplished athlete. He was enrolled in the Dutch-speaking cohort of boys admitted to the prestigious and highly competitive Royal Athenaeum of Antwerp. There, he followed his father's career path in choosing to study science and engineering, consistently receiving top marks in all subjects and graduating at the top of his class. He took no courses in literature or philosophy but developed a strong extracurricular interest in both as well as in religious mysticism. In 1936, his brother Rik de Man was killed at the age of 21 when his bicycle was struck by a train at a railroad crossing. The following year, it was Paul, then seventeen, who discovered the body of their mother, who had hanged herself a month before the anniversary of Rik's death.
That fall Paul enrolled in the Free University of Brussels. He wrote for student magazines and continued to take courses in science and engineering. For stability he turned to his uncle Henri as a patron and surrogate emotional father, later on several occasions telling people Henri was his real father and his real father was his uncle. He fathered a son with Romanian-born Anaïde Baraghian, the wife of his good friend, Gilbert Jaeger. They lived in a menage a trois until August 1942, when Baraghian left her husband. Paul married her in 1944, and the couple had two more sons together.
De Man, Baraghian and Jaeger fled to the south of France near the Spanish border when the Nazis occupied Belgium in 1940. Uncle Henri, who by then was a self-avowed fascist, welcomed the Nazi invaders, whom he saw as essential for instituting his brand of socialism.[needs update][page needed] For a year, Henri de Man was appointed as de facto puppet Prime Minister of Belgium under the Nazis. Some believed that he used his influence to secure his nephew a position as an occasional cultural critic for Le Soir, the influential Belgian French-language newspaper. After contributing an essay, “The Jews in Present-Day Literature,” to Le Soir volé's notorious anti-Semitic attack of March 4, 1941, de Man became its official book reviewer and a cultural critic. Later he contributed to the Flemish daily Het Vlaamsche Land; both publications were violently anti-Semitic when under Nazi control. As a cultural critic, de Man would contribute hundreds of articles and reviews to these publications. His writings supported the Germanic ideology and the triumph of Germany in the war, while never referring directly to Hitler himself. In spite of that he maintained friendships with individual Jews.
Holding three different jobs, de Man became very highly paid, but he lost all three between November 1942 and April 1943, failures that resulted from a combination of losing a coup he had launched against one employer and his own incompetence as a businessman at another. After this, de Man went into hiding; the Belgian Resistance had now begun assassinating prominent Belgian pro-Nazis. He had lost his protection in late 1942, when Uncle Henri, mistrusted by his collaborators on the right and himself marked for death as a traitor by the Belgian Resistance, went into exile.
De Man spent the rest of the war in seclusion reading American and French literature and philosophy and organizing a translation into Dutch of Moby Dick by Herman Melville, which he published in 1945. He would be interrogated by prosecutor Roger Vinçotte, but not charged after the war. Henri de Man was tried and convicted in absentia for treason; he died in Switzerland in 1953, after crashing his car into an oncoming train, an accident that was almost certainly a suicide.[not specific enough to verify][needs update]
In 1948 de Man left Belgium and immigrated to New York City. He had fled as an exile to avoid what became two trials for criminal and financial misdeeds (thefts of money from investors in a publishing company he ran) for which he was convicted in absentia to five years of imprisonment and heavy fines. Baraghian sailed with their three young sons to Argentina, where her parents had recently immigrated. De Man found work stocking books at the Doubleday Bookstore at New York City's Grand Central Station. From there he wrote to his friend Georges Bataille, a French philosopher, and through him, he met Dwight MacDonald, a key figure on the New York intellectual and literary scene. At MacDonald's apartment, de Man met the beautiful and celebrated novelist Mary McCarthy. McCarthy recommended de Man to her friend, Artine Artinian, a professor of French at Bard College, as a temporary replacement while Artinian spent the academic year of 1949–50 in France as a Fulbright fellow.
"De Man was to teach Mr. Artinian's courses, advise Mr. Artinian's advisees, and move into Mr. Artinian's house. By December , de Man had married one of the advisees, a French major named Patricia Kelley, and when the first Mrs. de Man turned up with their three young boys, Hendrik, Robert, and Marc, in the spring of 1950, Patricia de Man [sic] was pregnant."
De Man persuaded the devastated Baraghian to accept a sum of money, agree to a divorce, and return to Argentina. She, however, surprised him when she left the eldest boy with him, while he surprised her when his first check proved worthless. The boy was raised by Kelley's parents while she took the younger ones back to Argentina with a promise of child support that de Man was never to honor.[needs update]
A heavily fictionalized account of this period of de Man's life is the basis of Henri Thomas's 1964 novel Le Parjure (The Perjurer). His life also provides the basis for Bernhard Schlink's 2006 novel, translated as "Homecoming". De Man married Kelley a first time in June 1950, but did not tell her that he had not actually gotten a divorce and that the marriage was bigamous. They underwent a second marriage ceremony in August 1960, when his divorce from Baraghian was finalized, and later had a third ceremony in Ithaca. In addition to their son, Michael, born while the couple was at Bard College, they had a daughter, Patsy. The couple remained together until de Man's death, aged 64, in New Haven, Connecticut.
The de Mans moved to Boston, where Paul earned money teaching conversational French at Berlitz and did translations assisted by Patricia de Man; he also gave private French lessons to Harvard student Henry Kissinger, then running a small center and publication of his own. There, de Man met Harry Levin, the Harvard Professor of Comparative Literature, and "was invited to join an informal literary seminar that met at Levin's house (alongside, e.g., George Steiner and John Simon). By the fall of 1952, he was officially admitted to graduate study in comparative literature." In 1954 someone sent Harvard an anonymous letter denouncing de Man as a wartime collaborator and questioning his immigration status (a letter not surviving, and known only on the basis of de Man's response to it). According to Harvard faculty members, de Man offered a thorough and more than satisfactory account of his immigration status and the nature of his political activities. While he was writing his dissertation, de Man was awarded a prestigious appointment at the Harvard Society of Fellows. In 1960, because his thesis was unsatisfactory to his mentors on several counts, and especially its philosophical approach, they were prepared to dismiss him, but he moved immediately to an advanced position at Cornell University, where he was highly valued.
Peter Brooks, who was de Man's undergraduate student at Harvard, and later became his friend and colleague at Yale, wrote that rather than brand de Man as a confidence man, as his critics were inclined to do:
"One might consider this a story of remarkable survival and success following the chaos of war, occupation, postwar migration, and moments of financial desperation: without any degrees to his name, de Man had impressed, among others, Bataille, Macdonald, McCarthy, and Levin, and entered the highest precincts of American academia. During the following decade, he contributed nine articles to the newly established New York Review: astute and incisive short essays on major European writers—Hölderlin, Gide, Camus, Sartre, Heidegger, as well as Borges—that display notable cultural range and critical poise.
In 1966, de Man attended a conference on structuralism held at Johns Hopkins University, where Jacques Derrida delivered his celebrated essay, "Structure, Sign, and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences"; de Man and Derrida soon became fast friends. Both were to become identified with Deconstruction. De Man came to reflect the influence primarily of Heidegger and used deconstruction to study Romanticism, both English and German, as well as French literature, specifically the works of William Wordsworth, John Keats, Maurice Blanchot, Marcel Proust, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Friedrich Nietzsche, Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, Walter Benjamin, William Butler Yeats, Friedrich Hoelderlin and Rainer Maria Rilke.
Following an appointment to a professorship in Zurich, de Man returned to the United States in the 1970s to teach at Yale University, where he served for the rest of his career. At the time of his death of cancer at age 64, he was a Sterling Professor and chairman of the department of comparative literature at Yale.
Contributions to literary theory
Although de Man's work in the 1960s differs from his later deconstructive endeavors, considerable continuity can also be discerned. In his 1967 essay "Criticism and Crisis," he argues that because literary works are understood to be fictions rather than factual accounts, they exemplify the break between a sign and its meaning: literature "means" nothing, but critics resist this insight:
"When modern critics think they are demystifying literature, they are in fact being demystified by it. But since this necessarily occurs in the form of a crisis, they are blind to what takes place within themselves. What they call anthropology, linguistics, psychoanalysis, is nothing but literature reappearing like the hydra's head in the very spot where it had been suppressed. The human mind will go through amazing feats to avoid facing 'the nothingness of human matters'."
De Man would later observe that, due to this resistance to acknowledging that literature does not "mean", English departments had become "large organizations in the service of everything except their own subject matter" ("The Return to Philology"). He said that the study of literature had become the art of applying psychology, politics, history, philology or other disciplines to the literary text, in an effort to make the text "mean" something.
Among the central threads running through de Man's work is his attempt to tease out the tension between rhetoric (which de Man's uses as a term to mean figural language and trope) and meaning, seeking moments in the text where linguistic forces "tie themselves into a knot which arrests the process of understanding." De Man's earlier essays from the 1960s, collected in Blindness and Insight, represent an attempt to seek these paradoxes in the texts of New Criticism and move beyond formalism. One of De Man's central topoi is of the blindness on which these critical readings are predicated, that the "insight seems instead to have been gained from a negative movement that animates the critic's thought, an unstated principle that leads his language away from its asserted stand. . . as if the very possibility of assertion had been put into question." Here de Man tries to undercut the notion of the poetic work as a unified, atemporal icon, a self-possessed repository of meaning freed from the intentionalist and affective fallacies. In de Man's argument, formalist and New Critical valorization of the "organic" nature of poetry is ultimately self-defeating: the notion of the verbal icon is undermined by the irony and ambiguity inherent within it. Form ultimately acts as "both a creator and undoer of organic totalities," and "the final insight...annihilated the premises which led up to it."[not specific enough to verify][page needed]
In Allegories of Reading,[not specific enough to verify][page needed] de Man further explores the tensions arising in figural language in Nietzsche, Rousseau, Rilke, and Proust. In these essays, he concentrates on crucial passages which have a metalinguistic function or metacritical implications, particularly those where figural language has a dependency on classical philosophical oppositions (essence/accident, synchronic/diachronic, appearance/reality) which are so central to Western discourse. Many of the essays in this volume attempt to undercut figural totalization, the notion that one can control or dominate a discourse or phenomenon through metaphor. In de Man's discussion of Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy, for instance, he claims that "genetic"[clarification needed] conceptions of history appearing in the text are undercut by the rhetorical strategies Nietzsche employs: "the deconstruction does not occur between statements, as in a logical refutation or a dialectic, but happens instead between, on the one hand, metalinguistic statements about the rhetorical nature of language and, on the other hand, a rhetorical praxis that puts these statements into question." For de Man, an "Allegory of Reading" emerges when texts are subjected to such scrutiny and reveal this tension; a reading wherein the text reveals its own assumptions about language, and in so doing dictates a statement about undecidability, the difficulties inherent in totalization, their own readability, or the "limitations of textual authority."
De Man is also known for his readings of English and Germanromantic and post-romantic poetry and philosophy (The Rhetoric of Romanticism), and concise and deeply ironic essays. Specifically noteworthy is his critical dismantling of the Romantic ideology and the linguistic assumptions which underlie it. His arguments follow roughly as follows. First, de Man seeks to deconstruct the privileged claims in Romanticism of symbol over allegory, and metaphor over metonymy. In his reading, because of the implication of self-identity and wholeness which is inherent in the Romantics' conception of metaphor, when this self-identity decomposes, so also does the means of overcoming the dualism between subject and object, which Romantic metaphor sought to transcend. In de Man's reading, to compensate for this inability, Romanticism constantly relies on allegory to attain the wholeness established by the totality of the symbol.
In addition, in his essay "The Resistance to Theory", which explores the task and philosophical bases of literary theory, de Man uses the example of the classical trivium of grammar, rhetoric, and logic to argue that the use of linguistic sciences in literary theory and criticism (i.e. a structuralist approach) was able to harmonize the logical and grammatical dimension of literature, but only at the expense of effacing the rhetorical elements of texts which presented the greatest interpretive demands. He posits that the resistance to theory is the resistance to reading, thus the resistance to theory is theory itself. Or the resistance to theory is what constitutes the possibility and existence of theory. Taking up the example of the title of Keats's poem The Fall of Hyperion, de Man draws out an irreducible interpretive undecidability which bears strong affinities to the same term in Derrida's work and some similarity to the notion of incommensurability as developed by Jean-François Lyotard in The Postmodern Condition and The Differend. De Man argues that the recurring motive of theoretical readings is to subsume these decisions under theoretical, futile generalizations, which are displaced in turn by harsh polemics about theory.
Influence and legacy
De Man's influence on literary criticism was considerable, in part through his numerous and vocal disciples. Although much of his work brought to bear insights on literature drawn from German philosophers such as Kant and Heidegger, De Man also closely followed developments in contemporary French literature, criticism, and theory.
Much of de Man's work was collected or published posthumously. His book, Resistance to Theory was virtually complete at the time of his death. In 1996 a collection of essays, edited by his former Yale colleague Andrzej Warminski, was published by the University of Minnesota Press under the title, Aesthetic Ideology.
Wartime journalism and posthumous controversies
In 1988, Ortwin de Graef, a Belgian graduate student at the University of Leuven, discovered some two hundred articles which de Man had written during World War II for Le Soir. That year a conference on Paul de Man took place at the University of Antwerp. "On the last day, Jean Stengers, a historian at the Free University of Brussels, addressed a topic pointedly titled: "Paul de Man, a Collaborator?" Then Georges Goriely, professor emeritus of sociology at the Free University of Brussels, rose to deliver what he called "A Personal Testimony":
M. Goriely began by extolling de Man, whom he had known intimately in his youth, as "a charming, humorous, modest, highly cultured" homme de lettres renowned in Belgian literary circles during their youth. Then the professor dropped his bombshell. De Man, he asserted, wasn't all that he appeared to be. He was "completely, almost pathologically, dishonest," a crook who had bankrupted his family. "Swindling, forging, lying were, at least at the time, second nature to him."
The European press was in an uproar. "There were stories in La Quinzaine Litteraire, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, The (Manchester) Guardian. Newsweek juxtaposed a photograph of de Man with another of Nazis on the march. Le Soir reported 'a Waldheim academique'."
De Man's disciples tried to portray the attacks on de Man as a cover for his critics' dislike of Deconstruction, alleging that the attacks were a ruse that used de Man's youthful errors as evidence of what they considered the decadence at the heart of the Continental thought behind de Man and his theories. The controversies quickly spread from the pages of scholarly journals to the broader media. The Chronicle of Higher Education and the front page of the New York Times exposed the sensational details of de Man's personal life, particularly the circumstances of his marriage and his difficult relationships with his children.
In the most controversial and explicitly anti-semitic essay from this war-time journalism, titled "Jews in Contemporary Literature" (1941), de Man described how "[v]ulgar anti-semitism willingly takes pleasure in considering post-war cultural phenomenon (after the war of 14–18) as degenerate and decadent because they are [enjewished]." He notes that
"Literature does not escape this lapidary judgement: it is sufficient to discover a few Jewish writers under Latinized pseudonyms for all contemporary production to be considered polluted and evil. This conception entails rather dangerous consequences ... it would be a rather unflattering appreciation of western writers to reduce them to being mere imitators of a Jewish culture which is foreign to them."
The article claimed that contemporary literature had not broken from tradition as a result of the First World War and that
"the Jews cannot claim to have been its creators, nor even to have exercised a preponderant influence over its development. On any closer examination, this influence appears to have extraordinarily little importance since one might have expected that, given the specific characteristics of the Jewish Spirit, the later would have played a more brilliant role in this artistic production."
The article concluded that "our civilization... [b]y keeping, in spite of Semitic interference in all aspects of European life, an intact originality and character... has shown that its basic character is healthy." It concluded that "the creation of a Jewish colony isolated from Europe" as "a solution to the Jewish problem" would not entail any "deplorable consequences" for "the literary life of the west." This is the only known article in which de Man pronounced such views so openly, though two or three other articles also accept without demurral the disenfranchisement and ostracization of Jews, as some contributors to Responses have noted.
De Man's colleagues, students, and contemporaries tried to respond to his early writings and his subsequent silence about them in the volume Responses: On Paul de Man's Wartime Journalism (edited by Werner Hamacher, Neil Hertz, and Thomas Keenan; Nebraska, 1989). His longtime friend, Jacques Derrida, who was Jewish, published a long piece responding to De Man's critics, declaring:
"To judge, to condemn the work or the man on the basis of what was a brief episode, to call for closing, that is to say, at least figuratively, for censuring or burning his books is to reproduce the exterminating gesture which one accuses de Man of not having armed himself against sooner with the necessary vigilance. It is not even to draw a lesson that he, de Man, learned to draw from the war."
Some readers objected to what they considered was Derrida's objectionable effort to relate criticism of de Man to the greater tragedy of extermination of the Jews.
Fredric Jameson lengthily defended de Man in Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991), observing about de Man's critics that "it does not seem to me that North American intellectuals have generally had the kind of experience of history that would qualify them to judge the actions and choices of people under military occupation." According to Jameson, the efforts to implicate de Man in the Holocaust hinged on a fundamental misunderstanding of Nazi anti-Semitism:
The exclusive emphasis on anti-Semitism ignores and politically neutralizes its other constitutive feature in the Nazi period: namely, anticommunism. [The] very possibility of the Judeocide was absolutely at one with and inseparable from the anticommunist and radical right-wing mission of National Socialism (...). But put this way, it seems at once clear that DeMan was neither an anticommunist nor a right-winger: had he taken such positions in his student days (...), they would have been public knowledge.
Turning to the content and ideology of de Man's wartime journalism, Jameson contended that it was "devoid of any personal originality or distinctiveness," simply rehearsing corporatist commonplaces found in a broad range of European political movements. From this, Jameson concluded that none of the wartime articles "had any relevance to Paul DeMan, for whom the thing dramatically called 'collaboration' was simply a job, in a Europe henceforth and for the foreseeable future united and German, and who as long as I knew him personally was simply a good liberal."
Since the late 1980s, some of de Man's followers, many of them Jewish, have pointed out that de Man at no time in his life displayed personal animus against Jews. Shoshana Felman, recounted that
"about a year after the journalistic publication of his compromising statement, he and his wife sheltered for several days in their apartment the Jewish pianist Esther Sluszny and her husband, who were then illegal citizens in hiding from the Nazis. During this same period, de Man was meeting regularly with Georges Goriely, a member of the Belgian Resistance. According to Goriely's own testimony, he never for one minute feared denunciation of his underground activities by Paul de Man."
But, his disciples and defenders have failed to agree about the nature of de Man's silence about his wartime activities. His critics, on the other hand, point out that throughout his life de Man was not only passively silent but also engaged in an active coverup through lies and misdirections about his past.
The question of de Man's personal history has continued to fascinate scholars, as evidenced by Evelyn Barish's 2014 biography, The Double Life of Paul de Man,. In an advance review published in Harpers Magazine, Christine Smallwood concluded that, as portrayed by Barish, de Man turns out to have been: "a slippery Mr. Ripley, a confidence man, and a hustler who embezzled, lied, forged, and arreared his way to intellectual acclaim." Writing in the New York Review of Books, Peter Brooks, who succeeded to de Man's post as Sterling professor at Yale, defended his friend, calling some of Barish's accusations overblown and identifying errors in her footnotes: "One could do a review of Barish's footnotes that would cast many doubts on her scholarship", he complains. For example, he cites the footnote Barish provides to support her claim that in 1942 de Man planned to launch a Nazi literary magazine: "I shared this information, and it has since been previously published in Belgian sources not now available to me", noting that this sort of thing "does not pass any sort of muster." Harvard professor Louis Menand, on the other hand, in his review in The New Yorker, finds Barish's biography important and credible, notwithstanding the presence of occasional errors and exaggerations. Menand writes "[h]er book is a brief for the prosecution. But it is not a hatchet job, and she has an amazing tale to tell. In her account, all guns are smoking. There are enough to stock a miniseries.
- Allegories of Reading: Figural Language in Rousseau, Nietzsche, Rilke, and Proust (ISBN 0-300-02845-8), 1979.
- Blindness and Insight: Essays in the Rhetoric of Contemporary Criticism. 2nd ed. (ISBN 0-8166-1135-1), 1983.
- The Rhetoric of Romanticism (ISBN 0-231-05527-7), 1984.
- The Resistance to Theory (ISBN 0-8166-1294-3), 1986.
- Wartime Journalism, 1934–1943 (ISBN 0-8032-1684-X) eds. Werner Hamacher, Neil Hertz, Thomas Keenan, 1988.
- Critical Writings: 1953–1978 (ISBN 0-8166-1695-7) Lindsay Waters (ed.), 1989.
- Romanticism and Contemporary Criticism: The Gauss Seminar and Other Papers (ISBN 0-8166-1695-7) eds. E. S. Burt, Kevin Newmark, and Andrzej Warminski, 1993.
- Aesthetic Ideology (ISBN 0-8166-2204-3) ed. Andrzej Warminski, 1996
- The Post-Romantic Predicament, Martin McQuillan, editor (ISBN 9780748641055), 2012 [de Man's dissertation, collected with other writings from his Harvard University years, 1956–1961].
- The Paul de Man Notebooks, Martin McQuillan, editor (ISBN 978-0748641048), 2014.
- In inverse chronological order
- Barish, Evelyn (2014). The Double Life of Paul de Man. New York: W. W. Norton/Liveright. ISBN 978-0-87140-326-1. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- Christine Smallwood, 2014, "New Books (The Double Life of Paul de Man)", Harpers Magazine, March 2014, pp. 77–78.
- Claire Colebrook, Paul de Man, Tom Cohen & J. Hillis Miller, 2012, Theory and the Disappearing Future: On de Man, On Benjamin. New York, N.Y.: Routledge. [Includes de Man's notes for "Conclusions: on The Task of the Translator"]
- Ian MacKenzie, 2002,Paradigms of Reading: Relevance Theory and Deconstruction. New York, N.Y.;Macmillan/Palgrave.
- Tom Cohen, Barbara Cohen, J. Hillis Miller & Andrzej Warminski, Eds., 2000, Material Events: Paul de Man and the Afterlife of Theory. Minneapolis, Minn.:University of Minnesota Press. [Essays on Aesthetic Ideology]
- Rodolphe Gasché, 1998, The Wild Card of Reading, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Cathy Caruth & Deborah Esch, Eds., 1995, Critical Encounters: Reference and Responsibility in Deconstructive Writing, New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.
- Cynthia Chase, 1986, Decomposing Figures: Rhetorical Reading in the Romantic Tradition. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
- James J. Sosnoski, 1995, Modern Skeletons in Postmodern Closets: A Cultural Studies Alternative (Knowledge : Disciplinarity and Beyond). Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press.
- Ortwin De Graef, 1995, Titanic Light: Paul de Man's Post-Romanticism. Lincoln, Nebr.: University of Nebraska Press.
- Ortwin De Graef, 1993, Serenity in Crisis: A Preface to Paul de Man, 1939–1960. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
- Fredric Jameson, 1991, Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. pp. 217–59.
- Bradbury, Malcolm (February 24, 1991). The Scholar Who Misread History. New York Times. [Review of D. Lehman's Signs of the times: Deconstruction and the Fall of Paul De Man]
- David Lehman, 1991, Signs of the times: Deconstruction and the Fall of Paul de Man. New York: Simon & Schuster/Poseidon Press.
- Lindsay Waters & Wlad Godzich, 1989, Reading de Man Reading. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
- Jacques Derrida, 1989, Memoires for Paul de Man. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Jon Wiener, 1989, "The Responsibilities of Friendship: Jacques Derrida on Paul de Man's Collaboration." Critical Inquiry14:797–803.
- Neil Hertz, Werner Hamacher & Thomas Keenan, Eds., 1988, Responses to Paul de Man's Wartime Journalism. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press.
- Christopher Norris, 1988, Paul de Man: Deconstruction and the Critique of Aesthetic Ideology, London, U.K.: Routledge.
- Fabio Velez, 2016, Desfiguraciones. Ensayos sobre Paul de Man, México: UNAM.
- Archival collections
- ^ abcEvelyn Barish (2014). The Double Life of Paul de Man. New York: W. W. Norton/Liveright. pp. e.g., p. 3. 560 pp. ISBN 978-0-87140-326-1. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- ^de Man, Paul, 1982, "The Resistance to Theory," in The Resistance to Theory, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, pp. 3-20.
- ^Barish 2014, pp. xv, xx
- ^ abcdefJames Atlas (August 28, 1988). "The Case of Paul de Man". New York Times. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
- ^Barish 2014, p. 45
- ^Steiner, Wendy. The Scandal of Pleasure: Art in an Age of Fundamentalism. University Of Chicago Press. 24 Nov. 1997. p. 191. Print.
- ^Barish, pp. 99-103
- ^Tuttleton, James (April 1991). "Quisling criticism: the case of Paul de Man: a review of David Lehman, 'Signs of the Times: Deconstruction & the Fall of Paul de Man'". New Criterion.
- ^J. Gérard Libois and José Gotovitch, L’An 40 (CRISP: Bruxelles, 1980)
- ^Barish, e.g. his contacts with G. Goriély, p. 142 and E. Sluszny, pp. 153, 154
- ^Barish, Evelyn. The Double Life of Paul de Man. Liveright. 17 March 17, 2014. 194. Print.
- ^Peter Rudnytsky, date unknown, "Rousseau's Confessions, De Man's Excuses," in Autobiography, Historiography, Rhetoric, publisher, city, and page now. unknown.
- ^Kermode, Frank (March 16, 1989). "Paul de Man's Abyss". London Review of Books.
- ^Barish, p. 192
- ^ abLehman, David (May 24, 1992). "Paul de Man: The Plot Thickens". New York Times.
- ^"The Many Betrayals of Paul de Man". The Chronicle of Higher Education.
- ^Lindsay Waters. "Paul de Man: Life and Works." Introduction to Paul de Man, Critical Writings: 1953–1978. Ed. Lindsay Waters. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 1989. lxiv. See also Jacques Derrida, "Le Parjure: Perhaps, Storytelling and Lying", pp. 161–201, in Without Alibi (Stanford University Press, 2002).
- ^ ab"[Reviews] - New Books, by Christine Smallwood - Harper's Magazine". Harper's magazine.
- ^Barish 2014, p. 326-7
- ^ abc"The Strange Case of Paul de Man by Peter Brooks". nybooks.com.
- ^Barish 2014, p. 347-360
- ^Barish 2014, p. 345
- ^Barish 2014, p. 423-5
- ^"Criticism and Crisis" 18 in Blindness and Insight. The phrase "nothingness of human matters" – le néant des choses humaines – is from a well-known passage about the imagination from Rousseau's Julie ou La Nouvelle Héloïse (VI: VIII), which asserts that human happiness lies only in desire and not fulfillment: "The world of illusions is the only one worth inhabiting. Such is the vanity of human matters, outside the realm of the Self-Created Being, that nothing here is beautiful but what is not."
- ^de Man, Paul, "Shelley Disfigured", in Bloom, Harold, et al. Deconstruction and Criticism (New York, Continuum: 1979), p. 44.
- ^See de Man, Paul, Blindness and Insight: Essays in the Rhetoric of Contemporary Criticism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1971).
- ^de Man, Paul, "The Rhetoric of Blindness", Blindness and Insight, 103.
- ^de Man, Paul, "The Rhetoric of Blindness", Blindness and Insight, p. 104.
- ^See de Man, Paul, Allegories of Reading (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979).
- ^de Man, Allegories of Reading, 98.
- ^de Man, Allegories of Reading, 99.
- ^See de Man, "The Rhetoric of Temporality", Blindness and Insight.
- ^For facsimiles of the articles, see Warner Hamacher, Neil Hertz and Thomas Keenan, eds., Wartime Journalism 1939–1943 by Paul de Man (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1988).
- ^Jacques Derrida, "Like the Sound of the Sea Deep within a Shell: Paul de Man's War", Critical Inquiry 14 (Spring 1988), 597–98.
- ^"Yale Scholar Wrote for Pro-Nazi Newspaper", New York Times, Dec. 1, 1987, p. 1.
- ^ abcPaul de Man. "The Jews in Contemporary Literature." Originally published in Le Soir (March 4, 1941), Martin McQuillan, translator, in Martin McQuillan, Paul de Man. USA (Routledge. 2001), pp. 127–29.
- ^"Les Juifs dans la littérature actuelle" appears in the same issue, p. 45.
- ^"Responses: On Paul de Man's Wartime Journalism: Werner Hamacher, Neil H. Hertz, Thomas Keenan: 9780803272439: Amazon.com: Books". amazon.com.
- ^Jacques Derrida, "Like the Sound of the Sea Deep within a Shell: Paul de Man's War", Critical Inquiry 14 (Spring 1988), 590–65; quote from 651; see also the "Critical Responses" in Critical Inquiry 15 (Summer 1989, 765–811) and Derrida's reply, "Biodegradables: Seven Diary Fragments", 812–873.
- ^See, for example, Jon Wiener, "The Responsibilities of Friendship", Critical Inquiry 15 (Summer 1989): 797.
- ^ abcFredric Jameson, 1991, Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. pp. 256–57
- ^Shoshana Felman, "Paul de Man's Silence", Critical Inquiry 15: 4 (Summer, 1989): 704–744
- ^Peter Brooks, “The Strange Case of Paul de Man,” The New York Review of Books, April 3, 2014.
- ^Louis Menand, "The de Man Case: Does a Critic's Past Explain His Criticism?", The New Yorker, March 24, 2014.