by Rodolphe Gasché
Harvard University Press, 1998
Cloth: 978-0-674-95295-9 | eISBN: 978-0-674-27374-0 | Paper: 978-0-674-95296-6
Library of Congress Classification PN75.D45G37 1998
Dewey Decimal Classification 801.95092


One of the most knowledgeable and provocative explicators of Paul de Man's writings, Rodolphe Gasché, a philosopher by training, demonstrates for the first time the systematic coherence of the critic's work, insisting that de Man continues to merit close attention despite his notoriously difficult and obscure style. Gasché shows that de Man's "reading" centers on a dimension of the texts that is irreducible to any possible meaning, a dimension characterized by the "absolutely singular."

Given that de Man and Derrida are both termed deconstructionists, Gasché differentiates between the two by emphasizing Derrida's primary interest in "writing," and postulates that the best way to come to terms with de Man's works is to "read" them athwart the writings of Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Heidegger, and Derrida. He shows his respect for the "immanent logic" of de Man's thought--which he lays out in great detail--while revealing his uneasiness at the oddness of that thought and its consequences.

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