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 as speaking.


((de Man points out the word’s derivation: “Voice assumes mouth, eye, and finally face, a chain that is manifest in the etymology of the trope’s name, prosopon poien, to confer a mask or a face (prosopon). Prosopopeia is the trope of autobiography, by which one’s name, as in the Milton poem, is made as intelligible and memorable as a face. Our topic deals with the giving and taking away of faces, with face and deface, figure, figuration and disfiguration.” (de Man, pp. 76))

parousia, noun. The Second Coming, in Christian theology. The physical presence of __.


((the following because I can never keep these straight enough…))

pathos, noun. 1. A quality, as of an experience or a work of art, that arouses feelings of pity, sympathy, tenderness, or sorrow. 2. The feeling, as of sympathy or pity, so aroused.


ethos, noun. The disposition, character, or fundamental values peculiar to a specific person, people, culture, or movement:


eros, noun. Creative, often sexual yearning, love, or desire.

thanatos, noun. The death drive; death as a philosophical concept or personification.


chiasmus, n.

Rhetoric: reversal of the order of words in the second of two parallel phrases: he came
intriumph and in defeat departs. from Gk. khiasmos “crossing, diagonal arrangement,”
from khiazein “to mark with an ‘X’,” from chi.