Paul de Man

Paul de Man

Paul de Man

Paul de Man

Synopsis

Paul de Man's work is key to the American deconstruction movement and to the so-called political turn in critical theory. Seventeen years after his death, his works continue to arouse violent reactions among critics. This book explains why de Man is such an important voice, detailing his critical position, exploring his intellectual and historical contexts, tracing the influence of his work and enabling readers to undertake independent study of his criticism.

Excerpt

The books in this series offer introductions to major critical thinkers who have influenced literary studies and the humanities. The Routledge Critical Thinkers series provides the books you can turn to first when a new name or concept appears in your studies.

Each book will equip you to approach a key thinker’s original texts by explaining her or his key ideas, putting them into context and, perhaps most importantly, showing you why this thinker is considered to be significant. The emphasis is on concise, clearly written guides which do not presuppose a specialist knowledge. Although the focus is on particular figures, the series stresses that no critical thinker ever existed in a vacuum but, instead, emerged from a broader intellectual, cultural and social history. Finally, these books will act as a bridge between you and the thinker’s original texts: not replacing them but rather complementing what she or he wrote.

These books are necessary for a number of reasons. In his 1997 autobiography, Not Entitled, the literary critic Frank Kermode wrote of a time in the 1960s:

On beautiful summer lawns, young people lay together all night, recovering
from their daytime exertions and listening to a troupe of Balinese musicians.
Under their blankets or their sleeping bags, they would chat drowsily about the
gurus of the time. … What they repeated was largely hearsay; hence my

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