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Later to become one of the most respected and ...
Later to become one of the most respected and influential literary theorists in America, de Man, then 21 and 22 years old, wrote primarily as the chief literary critic for Le Soir. His weekly column reviewed the latest novels and poetry from Belgium, France, Germany, and England. De Man commented extensively on major propaganda expositions, and interviewed leading writers and cultural figures, including Paul Valery and the future Vichy Education minister Abel Bonnard.
The political extremes of de Man's wartime writing are marked by two articles. His single anti-Semitic article, "Les Juifs dans la litterature actuelle" (4 March 1941), acquiesces in the deportation of Jews to "a Jewish colony isolated from Europe." But de Man later argued in defense of a Resistance-linked journal ("A propos de la revue Messages," 14 July 1942) against the "totalitarian" censors' "unconsidered attacks."
This volume reprints in facsimile all of de Man's articles in Le Soir as well as three articles he wrote prior to the occupation in 1940 as editor of the liberal Cahiers du Libre Examen. It also includes English translations of the ten articles written in Flemmish for the Antwerp paper Het Vlaamsche Land, in March-October 1942. The collection appears under the auspices of the Oxford Literary Review, England's leading theoretical journal for over a decade.