Introduction Broken Promises: Rousseau, de Man and Watergate

Martin McQuillan

in The Political Archive of Paul de Man

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780748665617
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780748676637 | DOI:
Introduction Broken Promises: Rousseau, de Man and Watergate

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This chapter presents an introduction to Paul de Man's Textual Allegories. The manuscript is an extended reading of the question of figurality in Rousseau, which was to provide the material for several published articles and later the second half of the last monograph published in de Man's lifetime, Allegories of Reading. Written during the unfolding of the Watergate Scandal, which led to the resignation of President Nixon in 1974 and the re-imagining of North American political life, the European de Man was no doubt considerably less scandalized by the breach of an elected President's contract with ‘the people’ than the local journalistic voices that defined and determined the popular understanding of this event. However, it is surely no coincidence that de Man chose to respond to these particular texts by Rousseau at this time and for them to present him with particular moments of disruption within his text.

Keywords: Paul de Man; Textual Allegories; Rousseau; American deconstruction; Allegories of Reading

Chapter.  6720 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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