"Shelley Disfigured" — Paul de Man

“And to read is to understand, to question, to know, to forget, to erase, to deface, to repeat — that is to say, the endless prosopopoeia by which the dead are made to have a face and a voice which tells the allegory of their demise and allows us to apostrophize them in our turn. No degree of knowledge can ever stop this madness, for it is the madness of words.” “The Triumph of Life warns us that nothing, whether deed, word, thought, or text, ever happens in relation, positive or negative, to anything that precedes, follows, or exists elsewhere,…

vocab via Heidegger, David Farrell Krell, Paul de Man

palimpsest, n.1. Paper, parchment, or other writing material designed to be reusable after any writing on it has been erased. Obs.2. a. A parchment or other writing surface on which the original text has been effaced or partially erased, and then overwritten by another; a manuscript in which later writing has been superimposed on earlier (effaced) writing. b. In extended use: a thing likened to such a writing surface, esp. in having been reused or altered while still retaining traces of its earlier form; a multilayered record. escutcheon, n.a. Heraldry. The shield or shield-shaped surface on which a coat of…

vocab via de Man, Hegel

copula, noun. 1. Logic and Grammar. That part of a proposition which connects the subject and predicate; the present tense of the verb to be (with or without a negative) employed as a mere sign of predication. 2. gen. A connection; a link. 3. Anat. A part (e.g. a bone, cartilage, or ligament) connecting other parts. anacoluthon, n. An instance of anacoluthia: A want of grammatical sequence; the passing from one construction to another before the former is completed. genitive, adj. 1. genitive case n. a grammatical form of substantives and other declinable parts of speech, chiefly used to denote…

vocab via Cynthia Chase, Paul de Man

apodictic / apodeictic, adj. Of clear demonstration; established on incontrovertible evidence. (By Kant applied to a proposition enouncing a necessary and hence absolute truth.) catachresis, noun.Improper use of words; application of a term to a thing which it does not properly denote; abuse or perversion of a trope or metaphor. semiosis, noun.The process whereby something functions as a sign. aleatory, adj. Dependent on the throw of a die; hence, dependent on uncertain contingencies. paranomasia, noun.Wordplay based on words which sound alike; an instance of this, a pun. diacritical, adj.1. diacritic — A. adj. and noun — Serving to distinguish, distinctive;…

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…