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    DeMan

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    • 06/26/2010 http://www.galilean-library.org/site/uploads/

    - Contra traditional definition, rhetoric does not have a persuasive function for it is the study of tropes and figures

    - Language is inherently figural, which is distinct (as well as in conflict with) from the literal/grammatical/referential meaning

    - Due to the figural characteristic of language and its attendant chains of supplements, it is an autonomous structure that cannot be paraphrased or interpreted entirely. Therefore language always contains the element of ambiguity or undecidability.

    - To seek for the literal meaning of the text is to obscure the figural nature of the text and mislead the reader.

    - The analysis of the relationship between the figural and the literal meaning is deconstruction, which is not to establish an absolute, perfect, or ultimate meaning but to prove there is and can be no final meaning.

    - Deconstruction, for DeMan, is not a method applicable to texts, for it "explores and unfolds ambiguities" already present within the text.

    - For the critic and the reader, blindness and insight are both inescapable and inseparable: insightful only because meanings in the text are identified, but by doing so, they become blind to the figural meanings and submit to an "aesthetic ideology.

    - In the essay "Criticism and Crisis", DeMan explains that fiction is not myth because it names itself as fiction. Those who assert the demystification of fiction/poetic text are being mystified by it since they are incontrovertibly blinded by their own activity and the literal/referential dimensions that conceal the figural aspect.


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