Paul de Man is often associated with an era of 'high theory', an
era it is argued may now be coming to a close. This book, written
by three leading contemporary scholars, includes both a transcript
and facsimile print of a previously unpublished text by de Man of
his handwritten notes for a lecture on Walter Benjamin. Challenging
and relevant, this volume presents de Man's work as a critical
resource for dealing with the most important questions of the
twenty-first century and argues for the place of theory within
The humanities are flooded with crises of globalism, capitalism
and terrorism, contemporary narratives of financial collapse, viral
annihilation, species extinction, environmental disaster and
terrorist destruction. Cohen, Colebrook and Miller draw out the
implications of these crises and their narratives and, reflecting
on this work by de Man, explore the limits of political thinking,
of historical retrieval and the ethics of archives and cultural
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