Allegories of Reading: Figurative Language in Rousseau, Nietzsche, Rilke and Proust

By Paul de Man

'Through complex and chic shut readings of poems through Rilke, Proust's Remembrance, Nietzsche's philosophical writings and the most important works of Rousseau, de guy concludes that each one writing matters itself with its personal task as language, and language, he says is often unreliable, slippery, impossible....Literary narrative, since it needs to depend on language, tells the tale of its personal lack of ability to inform a story....De guy demonstrates, superbly and convincingly, that language turns again on itself, that rhetoric is untrustworthy.' Julia Epstein, Washington publish booklet international

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Namenlos schon trennt sie Tisch und Weide . Auch die sternische Verbindung trogt . Doch uns freue eine Weile nun der Figur zu glauben . Das geniigt . [Sonnets, 1 :493]33 33. "Behold the sky. Is there no constellation referred to as 'Horseman'? I For we have now been taugh t , singularly, to anticipate this : I this delight of earth , and his better half I who drives and holds him, and whom he contains. II Is he no longer, therefore spurred after which 52 RHETORIC even supposing i t doesn't have the a little bit doctrinal tone o f a few texts with an identical subject matter , the poem is necessary for an comprehend­ ing of Rilke's poetics , because it bargains with the recurrent and important determine of the constellation . The constellation indicates the main inclu­ sive kind of totalization , the restoration of a language that may have the capacity to naming the remainder presence of being past dying and past time . The recovered cohesion comes into being within the play of polarities within the quatrains, within which we cross from a flow of constraint and competition to the of acquiescence which we have now fre­ quently encountered in our readings. The horseman and his steed are first proven in a dating of duality within which their wills strive against one another. The horse's delight rebels opposed to the desire of the rider, even though he's completely on the mercy of the ordinary and earthlike strength that includes him. 34 The tune [ Weg] , the trail freely selected by way of the animal , and the flip [ Wende ] , which designates the desire to direct it in a course of the rider's selection , are initially in clash with one another. this manner of being on this planet is personality­ istic of guy , a creature that exists in consistent competition to the spirit of the earth that inhabits crops, animals , and blameless beings. The topic of this alienation, of a human future always against the traditional movement of items, runs during the complete paintings: Dieses heisst Schicksal : gegeniiber sein und nicht als das und immer gegeniiber. [Eighth Elegy, 1 :471]35 reined in, i admire the nervelike nature of Being? I song and switch . yet a strain brings t hem jointly. I New expanse-and the 2 are one. II yet are they really? Or is the music they I commute jointly no longer the that means in their means? t hem greater than names. II Star-patterns I desk and pasture half may well misinform I however it pleases us, for it slow , I to think within the determine. that's sufficient . " 34. The syntax of the passage is hard and has made the duty of the com­ mentators and of the translators an doubtful one. In contract with Jacob Steiner, we learn " Dieser Stolz aus Erde" as that means "this delight made up of earth," and as designating the pony. "Ein Zweiter" then refers back to the rider . The literal that means is "and a moment one (the rider) who spurs and reins in ( the pony) that contains him . " the remainder of the translation differs from that of Steiner and of Morchen on a number of issues . 35. o pposite . " "This is named future: to be contrary issues I and never hing else and continually 53 TROPES (RILKE) this kind of mode of latest is related to comply to the "nervelike" Csehnig) , difficult, and resistant nature of being, which traces five and six positioned into query : 1st nicht so, gejagt und dann gebandigt , diese sehnige Natur des Seins?

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