Lovence in Rousseau's <i>Julie ou la Nouvelle Héloϊse</i>

Etienne Balibar

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:
Lovence in Rousseau's Julie ou la Nouvelle Héloϊse

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De Man's chapter on Julie in Allegories of Reading is a brilliant interpretation of the problem of ‘passion’ as a point of superposition of epistemology and ethics that forms the objective and the crucial interest of the philosophical novel. This chapter attempts to push further de Man's insight about the conceptual effectivity of allegoric writing by removing the limit that he maintained, i.e., taking into account the complete system of ‘passions’ which are literarily performed in the writing of Julie ou la Nouvelle Héloïse, therefore also the complete ‘world’ of protagonists involved in the texture of the correspondences exchanged among the characters of the novel. It suggests that this system of relations (bilateral and multi-lateral), which completely subverts accepted representations of the dichotomies of passion and reason, the private and the public, also embodies one of Rousseau's most original attempts at reaching what always remained his philosophical goal, namely a type of social relation that would negate its negation of the natural element in the human.

Keywords: Paul de Man; Allegories of Reading; allegory; passion; reason; allegoric writing; Rousseau; social relation

Chapter.  6934 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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