This last work by Paul de Man before his death in 1983 brings together what is essentially his complete work on the study of European Romanticism and post-Romanticism.
Preface 1. Intentional Structure of the Romantic Image 2. The Image of Rousseau in the Poetry of Holderlin 3. Wordsworth and Holderlin 4. Autobiography As De-Facement 5. Wordsworth and the Victorians 6. Shelley Disfigured 7. Symbolic Landscape in Wordsworth and Yeats 8. Image and Emblem in Yeats 9. Anthropomorphism and Trope in the Lyric 10. Aesthetic Formalization: Kleist's Uber das Marionettentheater Notes Bibliography for Essay 8 Notes on Permissions Index
Reading Paul de Man taught a generation of American critics what critical readings might mean. His philosophic reach, his self-critical scruple, and his inventive verbal precision combined to form an inimitable but deeply influential style. This collection holds special interest for its long, chronological range...The praise that de Man granted Yeats applies equally to his own work: it constantly warns against the danger of unwarranted hopeful solutions. -- Jonathan Arac Like de Man's other works, The Rhetoric of Romanticism -- demaning and authoritative -- will trouble and stimulate literary criticism, but it is engaging in an unexpected way...a challenging and historic book. -- Jonathan Culler
The late Paul de Man was Sterling Professor of French and Comparative Literature at Yale University.
[The Rhetoric of Romanticism] shows us how the narrative of a 500-line poem can contain more cliff-hanging suspense, more sudden alternation of vision and concealment, than a thousand pages of commonplace romantic adventures. -- Northrop Frye, Times Literary Supplement DeMan's legacy is an intellectual style of remarkable purity...a style marked by didactic fervour, whose undertow takes us into strange seas of thought, but it remains analytic and prosaic, with a minimum of semiotic play, and no mixing by montage of fiction and criticism. London Review of Books