Présences du sujet interprétant: qui dit «je»?


Abstract: Starting from a line by Yeats: “How can we know the dancer from the dance?”, with which Paul de Man opens up one of his most important studies, we try to carry out, through a „close reading” exercise, an interrogation on the possible stylistics of an interpretant Ego in literary criticim. We shall dwell on examples from the Geneva School texts (mainly because they allow us to look close at specific, rather complex concepts, such as “transparency” or “critical consciousness”, allowing the subject to shape itself out in the very act of interpretation. The paper will also describe the outlines of this more encompassing research. The very fact of rereading Geneva criticism under the sign of a “blind°spot” by Manien constitutes to our eyes a novelty to be taken into account: because our research, as a whole, relies on a filiation of literary ideas (overlooked by specialists so far) between the Geneva School and the Yale School. The paradoxical character of apposition is to notice how the critic’s presence (or rather “presence – absence”) is articulated into this dance which is interpretation: “How can you tell the interpreter in the act of interpretation”? The examples analysed point by point are taken from the works of Jean Starobinski and Paul de Man. The paper is the outcome of a workshop (in progress) with the theme “Dancing Paul de Man”, or about the stylistics of the interpretant in literary criticism.

Keywords: interprétation, microlecture, sujet interprétant, Paul de Man, Ecole de Genève