Paul de Man, ‘Autobiography as De-Facement’

+++ “Autobiography, then, is not a genre or a mode, but a figure of reading or of understanding that occurs, to some degree, in all texts. The autobiographical moment happens as an alignment between the two subjects involved in the process of reading in which they determine each other by mutual reflexive substitution. The structure implies the differentiation as well as similarity, since both depend on a substitutive exchange that constitutes the subject. This specular structure is interiorized in a text in which the author declares himself the subject of his own understanding, but this merely makes explicit the wider…

vocab – Autobiography as Defacement

diegesis, noun. A narrative or history; a recital or relation. pentimento, noun. A sign or trace of an alteration in a literary or artistic work; (spec. in Pa inting) a visible trace of a mistake or an earlier composition seen through later layers of paint on a canvas. ((Believe it or not, that word did not come from something Derrida)) specular, adj. Of, relating to, or having the properties of a mirror. prosopopeia, noun. A figure of speech in which an abstract thing is personified. A figure of speech in which an imagined or absent person or thing is represented…

Vocab via Paradise Lost

architrave, noun. The beam resting on the columns that supports the roof. opacous, adj. Dark. seneschal, noun. The major-domo, the chief steward of the household. prevenient – adj. 1. Theol. Coming before or antecedent to human action. Chiefly in prevenient grace n. the grace of God which precedes repentance and faith, predisposing a person to seek God in advance of any desire or motion on their part euphrasy – Noun. ‘eyebright’ – An herb used in poultices for the eyes. beeves – noun – Cattle. Plural of ‘beef’ bitumen – noun. 1. Originally, a kind of mineral pitch found in…

Paradise Lost, books VII – XII

+++ Let there be lightsHigh in the expanse of heaven to divideThe day from night; and let them be for signs,For seasons, and for days, and circling years +++ Open ye heavens, your living doors; let inThe great creator from his work returnedMagnificent, his six days’ work, a world; +++ Author and end of all things… +++ [Book VIII] +++ To ask or search I blame thee not, for heavenIs as the book of God before thee set,Wherein to read his wondrous works, and learnHis seasons, hours, or days, or months, or years: +++ She fair, divinely fair, fit love…

Paradise Lost, lines from Book IV – VI

[Book IV] +++ The hell within him, for within him hell He brings, and round about him hell One step no more than from himself can fly By change of place: now conscience wakes despair That slumbered, wakes the bitter memory Of what he was, what is, and what must be Worse; of deeds worse sufferings must ensue. +++ Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell; +++ So farewell hope, and with hope farewell fear, Farewell remorse: all good to me is lost; Evil be thou my good; by thee at least Divided empire with heaven’s king I…

Lines from Paradise Lost, Books I – III

[Book I] O spirit that doth prefer Before all temples the upright heart and pure +++ what in me is dark Illumine, what is low raise and support +++ All is not lost +++ The tyranny of heaven +++ Here in the heart of hell to work in fire, +++ hail horrors, hail Infernal world, and thou profoundest hell Receive thy new possessor: one who brings A mind not to be changed by place or time. The mind its own place, and in itself Can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven. +++ angel forms, who lay entranced…