By Paul de Man, Lindsay Waters

ISBN-10: 0816616957

ISBN-13: 9780816616954

ISBN-10: 0816616965

ISBN-13: 9780816616961

This quantity brings jointly 25 essays and studies through Paul De guy, Sterling Professor of Literature,Yale college

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Extra resources for Critical writings, 1953-1978

Sample text

He judged various novels, Flemish and English ones, against the standard of the French novel and most often found them wanting. It is the French tradition of Gide and Proust that has established an "esthetique nouvelle" based on its concern with psychology, with interiority, and seen compared to the French tradition those non-French novels (other than German) are lacking precisely to the degree that they emphasize what is external to the characters as opposed to what is internal (Le Soir, June 10, 1941).

The way to separate subjectivity from subjectivism, the transcendental consciousness from the personal one, was by rejecting both. The key figure in this effort was not Eliot but his teacher at Harvard, Irving Babbitt, who had argued that one entailed the other; and so baby and bathwater were both tossed out. The New Humanism Babbitt promoted needed to base itself, he thought, on something more solid than the subjectivist thought of Rousseau. Babbitt's New Humanism rejected all the residues of the revolutionary impulse.

S. Eliot in 1933 in his lectures at the University of Virginia explicitly stated his doubt that the West need do more to accommodate "freethinking" Jews. The club was certainly not set up to give comfort to the nonbeliever. Babbitt's great ally, his student T. S. Eliot, rewrote literary history to undermine the periods in which the emphasis on subjectivism he and Babbitt found in Rousseau had any dominance. " The alternative was the dreaded "dissociation of sensibility,"79 the failure to subordinate feeling to reason that sets in when there is any undue emphasis on the person of the poet.

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