DNA: de Man's Nucleic Archive

Erin Obodiac

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:
DNA: de Man's Nucleic Archive

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While the theme of the present volume takes aim at Allegories of Reading, many of the contributors deliver on materials from Aesthetic Ideology or The Messenger Lectures. These two California conferences seem to have a proleptic or metaleptic relation to each other. This chapter asks, what marks their mutual chiasmic pivet-point? A short answer would be the archival trap itself: with its spectral lure of textual genesis and genealogy, its promise of enlightening disclosures and concealments, the archival trap leaves no one free from imminent exposure and live burial; everyone, everything, is drawn into this privacy/publicity machine sooner or later. Concerning the so-called unpublished, long Rousseau manuscript, archival work has made clear that it was not a newly discovered, forgotten old pad of paper with handwriting on both recto and verso. It was a manuscript that since the 1980s had already been worked on patiently, had been partially transcribed, and whose parts were in current circulation. In addition, it had already been determined by scholars familiar with de Man's papers that the long Rousseau manuscript was Part II of Allegories of Reading, published in 1979.

Keywords: Paul de Man; writings; archival trap; Rousseau manuscript; Allegories of Reading

Chapter.  5521 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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