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De Man, Paul (1919–83

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DE009-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 24, 2024, from

Article Summary

De Man’s work is among the most renowned and influential in American literary theory of the latter twentieth century, especially regarding literary theory’s emergence as an interdisciplinary and philosophically ambitious discourse. Always emphasizing the linguistic aspects of a literary work over thematic, semantic or evaluative ones, de Man specifically focuses on the figurative features of literary language and their consequences for the undecidability of meaning. His extension of his mode of ‘rhetorical reading’ to philosophic texts also participates in the blurring of generic and institutional distinctions between literature and philosophy, a tendency pronounced in French philosophy of the latter twentieth century.

Citing this article:
Bahti, Timothy. De Man, Paul (1919–83, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DE009-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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