Paul de Man

literary theorist

Paul de Man (December 6, 1919 – December 21, 1983), was a Belgian-born literary critic.


  • Prior to any generalization about literature, literary texts have to be read, and the possibility of reading can never be taken for granted. It is an act of understanding that can never be observed, nor in any way prescribed or verified.
    • Blindness and Insight: Essays in the Rhetoric of Contemporary Criticism, Oxford University Press. 1971 p. 107.

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