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The Paul De Man Notebooks$
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Paul de Man and Martin McQuillan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748641048

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748641048.001.0001

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Introduction to The Portable Rousseau (1973)

Introduction to The Portable Rousseau (1973)

Chapter:
(p.69) 6 Introduction to The Portable Rousseau (1973)
Source:
The Paul De Man Notebooks
Author(s):

Martin McQuillan

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748641048.003.0007

In this introduction to his volume The Portable Rousseau (1973), Paul de Man focuses on Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Social Contract. He begins by discussing the notion of textual allegory, as it derives from the Social Contract, and how it provides the generalising principle which makes it possible to consider theotropical or ethical allegories as particularised versions of this generative model and thus to break down the significance of such thematic distinctions. He then suggests that the ‘inclusion’ of a deconstructed version of the Profession de foi within the context of the Social Contract is predictable, since both works can be considered as the same political allegory, the first on a figural, the second on a textual level. He also cites Rousseau's novel La nouvelle Héloïse as a textural allegory like the Social Contract and not like the Profession de foi.

Keywords:   textual allegory, The Portable Rousseau, Paul de Man, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Social Contract, Profession de foi, political allegory, La nouvelle Héloïse

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