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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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Hommage À Georges Poulet (1982)

Hommage À Georges Poulet (1982)

Chapter:
(p.131) 11 Hommage À Georges Poulet (1982)
Source:
The Paul De Man Notebooks
Author(s):

Martin McQuillan

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748641048.003.0012

In this 1982 essay, Paul de Man pays tribute to Georges Poulet. According to de Man, Poulet belongs to the highest tradition of literary criticism in which the criticism, as its name literally indicates, is primarily the criticism, the devalorisation, and destruction of literature itself. The first essay by Poulet he ever read was in an ephemeral avant-garde review, Sang Nouveau, published some years earlier in the 1930s and signed with a pseudonym, ‘Georges Thialet’; it dealt with what now appears a somewhat odd grouping of four contemporary English novelists: Aldous Huxley, Joseph Priestley, D. H. Lawrence, and James Joyce. De Man describes Poulet's work as an infinitely subtle, tenacious, and effective struggle with the deviousness of language. Especially for those who know the power of language as well as the seduction of its delusions, the work of Poulet proves to be indispensable. The recurrent narrative of his essays tells how the sense of temporal loss can be recovered, transformed into pure mind by the full recognition and acceptance of this loss.

Keywords:   literary criticism, Paul de Man, Georges Poulet, language, temporal loss, Sang Nouveau, novelists

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