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Summary information.

Textual Allegories
De Man, Paul
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
UC Irvine, Libraries, Critical Theory Archive
De Man (Paul) papers
Rights Information
This material is provided for private study, scholarship, or research. Transmission or reproduction of any material protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. The authors or their heirs retain their copyrights to the material. Contact the University of California, Irvine Libraries, Special Collections and Archives for more information (
Scope/Content: Textual Allegories is the only contiguous, single subject monograph written by De Man during his lifetime, and was written in Zurich in 1973-1974 while Paul de Man was on sabbatical from Yale University. The manuscript was never published by De Man but rather formed the material for later substantially revised published versions in journal articles and notably in the second half of Allegories of Reading: Figural Language in Rousseau, Nietzsche, Rilke and Proust (1979). However, the two texts differ in significant ways line-by-line and page-by-page. De Man’s Zurich manuscript corresponds to Chapters 8 to 12 of Allegories of Reading. Chapter 7 of Allegories of Reading on Rousseau’s Second Discourse appears to have been written separately. Confusingly, the Zurich manuscript begins with the double notation of listing ‘The Metaphor of the Self’ as chapter ‘II’ (as it would appear after the essay on the Second Discourse in Allegories of Reading) and as page 1 of a discrete manuscript. The Zurich text is presented here as both a manuscript and a transcription in order for scholars to compare between the two versions and subsequent published and revised versions of the content. Inspection shows that while sections of the text are reproduced in Allegories of Reading the two texts are in parts substantially different. The Zurich manuscript can not be separated from its relation to later published texts as either a discrete or ‘new’ text by De Man or simply as a draft of Allegories. Rather, the affirmation of the complex relation between the two might guide the reading of the two texts. Transcription of the verso of the Zurich manuscript is to be completed. Notable discrepancies between the Zurich manuscript and its cognate published revisions occur in the presentation of De Man’s reading of The Social Contract. This material is split over two chapters in the Zurich text, ‘Political Allegory’ and ‘Textual Allegory’. After this the manuscript then breaks with Rousseau and begins a study of Nietzsche, ‘Nietzsche I. Rhetoric and Metaphysic’, which de Man subsequently seems to abandon in a return to Rousseau and a reading of The Confessions. The section on Nietzsche comes from the same manuscript and corresponds to the pages of the Zurich text. It was separated from the rest of the manuscript at the time of its deposit at UCI and was subsequently deposited in 2009 by Patsy de Man (daughter of Paul and Patricia de Man).
Scope/Content: 1.a. pp.001-047A, II. The Metaphor of the Self (manuscript) / 1.b. pp.001-047A, II. The Metaphor of the Self (transcription) / 2.a. pp.047-097, III. Ethical Allegory (manuscript) / 2.b. pp.047-097, III. Ethical Allegory (transcription) / 3.a. pp.098-138, IV. Theotropic Allegory (manuscript) / 3.b. pp.098-138, IV. Theotropic Allegory (transcription) / 4.a. pp.139-170, V. Political Allegory (manuscript) / 4.b. pp.139-170, V. Political Allegory (transcription) / 5.a. pp.171-190, VI. Textual Allegory (manuscript) / 5.b. pp.171-190, VI. Textual Allegory (transcription) / 6.a. pp.191-209A, Nietzsche. I. Rhetoric and Metaphysic (manuscript) / 6.b. pp.191-209A, Nietzsche. I. Rhetoric and Metaphysic (transcription) / 7.a. pp.191-219, VII The Purloined Ribbon Autobiography as Text (manuscript) / 7.b. pp.191-219, VII The Purloined Ribbon Autobiography as Text (transcription)
Scope/Content: The version of Textual Allegories presented here has been reconstituted in the following way. The 190 page manuscript of Textual Allegories was part of the original deposit of the Paul de Man papers at the UC Irvine Libraries. The section ‘The Purloined Ribbon Autobiography as Text’ is from the same handwritten manuscript but was not included in this original deposit. The section ‘Nietzsche. I. Rhetoric and Metaphysics’ was later deposited at the UC Irvine Libraries in 2009 by Patsy de Man (daughter of Paul and Patricia de Man). The transcriptions were completed by Dr. Erin Obodiac, 2008-09.
Scope/Content: This work was undertaken under the supervision of Professor Martin McQuillan and sponsored by the British Academy and Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK.
De Man, Paul
Literary criticism
Textual Allegories by Paul de Man

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