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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  • Book review: The Double Life of Paul De Man, by Evelyn Barish
    in Tennyson’s apt and lovely words, that “men may rise on stepping-stones/ Of their dead selves to higher things.” Dirda reviews books for Book World every Thursday. THE DOUBLE LIFE OF PAUL DE MAN By Evelyn Barish Liveright. 534 pp. $35
    03/18/2014 - 9:00 pm | View Link
  • An Academic Fraud Exposed
    That is why I am taking immense pleasure in the revelations offered by a new book, "The Double Life of Paul de Man," by Evelyn Barish. I shall propose her for a Presidential Medal of Freedom once we get a proper president. De Man was a knock-about ...
    03/12/2014 - 9:42 pm | View Link
  • The Deconstructionist Deconstructed
    Think of Leonardo Di Caprio in “Catch Me if You Can,” or of Thomas Mann’s comic con man Felix Krull. How do they fool so many people for so long? A similar question underlies the story told by Evelyn Barish in “The Double Life of Paul de Man.”
    03/7/2014 - 9:11 am | View Link
  • Paul de Man's Many Secrets
    Yet The Double Life of Paul de Man, by Evelyn Barish, doesn't rescue his reputation. Far from it: The portrait that emerges from the book is of a deeply dishonest, bizarrely reckless man who manages to charm and bully his way to the pinnacle of ...
    10/21/2013 - 8:10 am | View Link
  • Reading Writers I Can’t Stand
    There are a number of authors who have this effect on me; for example, I love Evelyn Waugh a lot, though he was a terrific snob and mean as a snake—qualities as evident in his work as they are said to have been in his life ... book rings with the pain of ...
    01/15/2013 - 7:00 pm | View Link
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