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Blindness and Insight

Essays in the Rhetoric of Contemporary Criticism

1983
Author:

Paul de Man
Introduction by Wlad Godzich

Blindness and Insight

A new edition of a classic work in contemporary criticism.

A new edition of a classic work in contemporary criticism.

The 24 review essays collected here . . . make a powerfully sustained claim for regarding de Man as a writer of the short critical essay who ranks with Walter Benjamin, Maurice Blanchot, and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Choice

In Blindness and Insight de Man examines several critics and finds in their writings a gap between their statements about the nature of literature and the results of their practical criticism. Like a classic, this book commands attention as a book that should be reread, and reread carefully. This edition, with its new introduction by Godzich and five additional essays by de Man, is meant to challenge those interested in literature to a new understanding of their chosen task as readers.

“Blindness and Insight is the most subtly argued book of its kind I have ever read: the product of a continuously alive intelligence. It has what Wallace Stevens calls ‘The hum of thoughts evaded in the mind’” Geoffrey Hartman, The American Scholar

Blindness and Insight

Paul de Man (1919-1983) held appointments at Cornell University, The Johns Hopkins University, the University of Zurich, and Yale University. Among is books are Aesthetic Ideology, The Resistance to Theory, and Critical Writings, 1953-1978, all published by the University of Minnesota Press.

Wlad Godzich teaches literature at the University of Geneva. He is coeditor, with Jochen Schulte-Sasse, of the University of Minnesota Press’s Theory and History of Literature series.

Blindness and Insight

The 24 review essays collected here . . . make a powerfully sustained claim for regarding de Man as a writer of the short critical essay who ranks with Walter Benjamin, Maurice Blanchot, and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Choice

Certainly one of the half dozen volumes that belong on the shelf of anyone interested in post-war critical theory.

The Washington Post Book World

Blindness and Insight is the most subtly argued book of its kind I have ever read: the product of a continuously alive intelligence. It has what Wallace Stevens calls ‘The hum of thoughts evaded in the mind.’

Geoffrey Hartman, The American Scholar

It is a book to be meditated long and late; it will disturb our habits of sleepy reading and careless speaking about literature. . . . I think it’s likely to go down as one of the most influential critical books of our time.

Robert Martin Adams, The Hudson Review