Everyone is used to the stories about the computer geniuses who rule Silicon Valley. Few bothered to sit through more than a handful of lectures given by the college industrial complex.
But the English department? Alas, it’s true. And it couldn’t be a more famous person. Anyone who’s been through the wringer in the Literature Industrial Complex knows the name of Paul de Man. Now Evelyn Barish delivers a long biography full of bad stuff, the kind of bad stuff that they use to kick people out of the canon. It’s called The Double Life of Paul de Man. Tom Bartlett at the Chronicle of Higher Edumacation reports.
There are stories of bigamy, theft and anti-semitism but my favorite is the fact that he never got an undergraduate degree. Maybe it was the war or something. Just another misreading, I guess.