Material Events: Paul de Man and the Afterlife of Theory

Overview

Renowned contributors use the late work of this crucial figure to open new speculations on "materiality."

A "material event," in one of Paul de Man's definitions, is a piece of writing that enters history to make something happen. This interpretation hovers over the publication of this volume, a timely reconsideration of de Man's late work in its complex literary, critical, cultural, philosophical, political, and historical dimensions.

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Overview

Renowned contributors use the late work of this crucial figure to open new speculations on "materiality."

A "material event," in one of Paul de Man's definitions, is a piece of writing that enters history to make something happen. This interpretation hovers over the publication of this volume, a timely reconsideration of de Man's late work in its complex literary, critical, cultural, philosophical, political, and historical dimensions.

Responding to the problematic of "materialism" as posed in Paul de Man's posthumous last book, Aesthetic Ideology, a diverse and distinguished group of scholars explores the question of "material events" in ways that illuminate not just de Man's work but their own, work at the forefront of critical theory, productive thinking, and writing in the humanities. The contributors work in disciplines ranging from art history to psychoanalysis, from literary studies and philosophy to political science, and include Jacques Derrida, who returns in an extended essay to a celebrated episode in Rousseau's Confessions discussed by de Man in Allegories of Reading.

The importance of de Man's late work is related to a broad range of subjects and categories and-in Derrida's provocative reading of de Man's concept of "materiality"-the politico-autobiographical texts of de Man himself. This collection is essential reading for all those interested in the present state of literary and cultural theory.

Contributors: Judith Butler, UC Berkeley; T. J. Clark, UC Berkeley; Jacques Derrida, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales and UC Irvine; Barbara E. Johnson, Harvard U; Ernesto Laclau, U of Essex; Arkady Plotnitsky, Purdue U; LaurenceRickels, UC Santa Barbara; and Michael Sprinker.

Tom Cohen is professor and chair of English at the State University of New York, Albany. Barbara Cohen is director of Humanitech and senior editor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. J. Hillis Miller is distinguished professor of English and comparative literature, and Andrzej Warminski is professor of English and comparative literature, both at the University of California, Irvine.

Translation Inquiries: University of Minnesota Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816636143
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

A "Materiality without Matter"?
I Ideologies of/and the Aesthetic
"As the Poets Do It": On the Material Sublime 3
Art and Ideology: Althusser and de Man 32
Algebra and Allegory: Nonclassical Epistemology, Quantum Theory, and the Work of Paul de Man 49
II Deadly Apollo: "Phenomenality," Agency, the Sensorium
Phenomenality and Materiality in Cezanne 93
Political Thrillers: Hitchcock, de Man, and Secret Agency in the "Aesthetic State" 114
Resistance in Theory 153
III Re-Marking "de Man"
Paul de Man as Allergen 183
Anthropomorphism in Lyric and Law 205
IV The Mnemopolitical Event
The Politics of Rhetoric 229
How Can I Deny That These Hands and This Body Are Mine? 254
V Materiality without Matter
Typewriter Ribbon: Limited Ink (2) ("within such limits") 277
Contributors 361
Index 365
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