Bibliographic Details

Romanticism and contemporary criticism : the Gauss Seminar and other papers / Paul de Man ; edited by E.S. Burt, Kevin Newmark, Andrzej Warminski.

Author / Creator De Man, Paul
Imprint Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, c1993.
Description ix, 212 p. ; 23 cm.
Language English
Subject Romanticism
Format E-Resource, Print, Book
URL for this record
Other authors / contributors Burt, E. S.
Newmark, Kevin, 1951-
Warminski, Andrzej
ISBN 0801844606 (acid-free paper)
0801844614 (pbk.)
Notes Includes bibliographical references.
Review by Choice Review

The centerpiece of this collection of de Man's unpublished conference papers is the draft of his Gauss Seminar, presented at Princeton in 1967. There are six lectures (only one of which has been previously available), and those on Rousseau, H"olderlin, and Baudelaire will in time be considered among de Man's most penetrating essays. Readers of de Man will be struck by how important these lectures were to de Man's thinking and how continuously he drew upon them for his published work from Blindness and Insight (1971) to Rhetoric of Romanticism (CH, May'85). De Man makes here the compelling and controversial claim that the romantics (e.g., Rousseau, H"olderlin, and Wordsworth) overcame quite early in their development a belief that Freud, Marx, and Nietzsche would never abandon: namely, that "demystification can become a praxis beneficial to the personality or to the society." The romantic artist's flight from the empirical self into the transcendent, critical self and back again never leads to the delusion that the knowledge or experience thereby attained has any relation to the truth of nature or Being. This volume captures something essential about de Man's intractable skepticism and about his commitment to a "pure act of mind," the essential romantic act that leaves the critical self in the difference between nature and history and at the mercy of what de Man already here calls the "formal dimensions of language." A work of immense importance, tastefully edited and beautifully produced. N. Lukacher; University of Illinois at Chicago

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review