Paul de man resistance to theory essay

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All other models created a degree of confusion which only geometrical minds can understand. This resistance is more apparent in what are called theories of reading.

But it is not so with regard to the phenomenality of space, time and self. This gives rise to a crisis in literary studies because "literariness" is no longer an aesthetic quality or a mimetic mode.

Difficulties originate when it becomes impossible to ignore the rhetorical dimension of the discourse.

The grammatical decoding of a text leaves a residue remains of indetermination that cannot be solved by grammatical means. The story told in the second poem is about a character who resembles Apollo rather than Hyperion. Mimesis, like aesthetic quality, is also an effect of the rhetorical and figurative aspects of language. Logic and grammar have a natural affinity to each other. The essay later became part of the book by the same name. Contemporary semiology extends grammar to include figural dimensions. He could not complete both poems. This gives rise to a crisis in literary studies because "literariness" is no longer an aesthetic quality or a mimetic mode. All other models created a degree of confusion which only geometrical minds can understand. Thus it avoids the bad faith of other discourses—history and Sciences—that try to repress or deny it. When language was considered as a system of signs and signification, the traditional barrier between literary and non-literary uses of language disappeared. It is a resistance to language itself or to the possibility that language contains factors or functions that cannot be reduced to intuition. It had no difficulty appreciating and assimilating outstanding products of a kindred spirit that originated in Europe—--Curtius, Auerbach, Croce, Spitzer, Alonso, Valery etc.

Peirce, Saussure, Sapir and Bloomfield were not concerned with literature at all but with the scientific foundations of linguistics. Ideology is precisely the confusion of linguistics with natural reality.

Persuasion is inseparable from rhetoric. Aesthetics is part of a universal system of philosophy. Mimesis, like aesthetic quality, is also an effect of the rhetorical and figurative aspects of language. Crisis mentioned[ edit ] This gives rise to a particular crisis in literary studies because "literariness" is no longer seen as an aesthetic quality nor a mimetic mode. The signified is only a concept or many concepts. De Man warns us that if rhetoric is equated with psychology rather than with epistemology, it will open up prospects of banality [triviality, dullness]. Rhetoric continuously undermines the abstract systems of grammar and logic. Logic and grammar have a natural affinity to each other. The poetic function.. But philologists like Roman Jakobson and literary critics like Roland Barthes took interest in semiology. Literature frankly admits the rhetoricity in it. The tension between grammar and rhetoric arises in the problem of reading, the process that necessarily partakes of both. De Man adds that such difficulties, as mentioned above, always existed for literary theory. But it has no substantial relationship to anything beyond that effect.

The Resistance to Theory also includes a interview with de Man conducted for Italian radio, and a complete bibliography of his work. NOTES 1. Here Hyperion refers to the title the poet has given to the first text. The tension between grammar and rhetoric arises in the problem of reading, the process that necessarily partakes of both.

The relationship between word and thing is not phenomenal but conventional. Rhetoric has a negative relationship to grammar and to logic. The resistance to theory, says de Man, is a resistance to the use of language about language; it is a resistance to reading, and a resistance to the rhetorical or figurative dimensions of language.

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The Resistance to Theory by Paul De Man