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Paul de Man manuscripts, circa 1973-1983

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Paul de Man manuscripts, circa 1973-1983



Paul de Man was a prominent and influential literary critic, scholar, and teacher best known as one of the principle theorists behind an approach to literary and philosophical texts that became known as deconstruction.

The unpublished manuscripts in this online collection are book length projects that Paul de Man worked on during his life but never published. There are two separate manuscripts, a handwritten manuscript on Rousseau entitled Textual Allegories, and the edited collection of translations The Portable Rousseau.

Textual Allegories was written in Zurich by de Man while on sabbatical from Yale in 1973-1974. It was written as a single monograph study but was later revised by de Man as the second half of his Allegories of Reading (1979) and for journal publication. While clearly related to this later publication, Textual Allegories differs from Allegories of Reading significantly line-by-line and page-by-page.

The Portable Rousseau is a collection of texts by Jean-Jacques Rousseau commissioned by Viking Press for their Portable Readers series. The texts reproduced here include original English-language translations by Paul and Patricia de Man, editorial corrigenda, and drafts of possible introductory texts.

These manuscripts are made available through the UC Irvine Libraries with funding from the United Kingdom’s Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy,and with the permission of Patsy de Man. They were transcribed and digitized under the supervision of Professor Martin McQuillan.

The Paul de Man papers are available for research in the Special Collections and Archives Reading Room at the UC Irvine Libraries and are described in a finding aid in the Online Archive of California.


Subcollections within this collection