Book Review: The Double Life Of Paul De Man, By Evelyn Barish

Book review: The Double Life of Paul De Man, by Evelyn Barish

De Man? Paul de Man? Like the retired Pontius Pilate when asked about Jesus Christ in Anatole France’s story “The Procurator of Judaea,” many readers today would answer, “I cannot call him to mind.” But in his heyday, from the late 1960s through the early ’80s, de Man was — with the possible exception of his Yale colleague Harold Bloom — this country’s dominant figure in literary studies.

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    The Double Life of Paul De Man’ by Evelyn Barish (Liveright. 534 pp. $35). (Liveright) At the Free University of Brussels, young de Man flunked most of his courses and never did graduate. Instead, he helped edit a cultural journal and soon fell under the ...
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