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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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Director's Report on Rhetorical Reading (1982)

Director's Report on Rhetorical Reading (1982)

Chapter:
(p.255) 25 Director's Report on Rhetorical Reading (1982)
Source:
The Paul De Man Notebooks
Author(s):

Paul de Man

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748641048.003.0026

In this 1982 report, Paul de Man reflects on the benefits and challenges of running a national seminar on rhetorical reading at Yale University. The seminar, taught by de Man in the summer of 1981 at Yale under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Humanities, deals with a central problem in contemporary literary theory from a pedagogical, rather than from a purely theoretical, perspective. It investigates how an awareness of the rhetorical properties of language influences the modalities and expectations of our reading and, consequently, of the way in which the reading of literary works is taught to undergraduates. This pragmatic approach to reading deliberately mixes literary, critical, and philosophical materials.

Keywords:   report, Paul de Man, seminar, rhetorical reading, Yale University, National Endowment for the Humanities, literary theory, rhetoric, language

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