United States. There were no regretsnfor Europe.nDe Man’s Critical Writings, 1953-n1978 was reprinted in 1988 by thenUniversity of Minnesota Press. Whatnare called his books are reprints ofneariier essays with some new material.nHe never edited a text or wrote ancommentary on a work of literature.nHis essays typically take a small part ofnan author’s work and discuss it from annarrow perspective. Nevertheless, thenliterary-critical establishment hasndrawn the wagon train into a circlenaround De Man’s accomplishments.nThe question of De Man’s lack ofnsubstantive publication is serious. Onenof the most common myths about thenacademy is that “good teaching” isnrejected in favor of scholarly publication.nWhatever may be true in thenphysical sciences, for the humanitiesnthis is arrant nonsense. Two-thirds ofntenured faculty in the humanities publishnnothing but their dissertations, ifnthey publish that. Some of what appearsnconsists of literary criticism orntheory, with no historical or textualnbase, often setting the words of the textncompletely at naught. (Ortwin denGraef has shown this about De Man’snwork on Rousseau.) Most faculty arentenured on the basis of a few unrefereednor virtually unrefereed articlesnand their reputations as Great Teachers.nThe more cynical look for administrativenposts or become chairmen ofntheir departments, where they getnmuch better raises than serious publicationnbrings and whence they cannfight off the hiring or tenuring ofnserious scholars.nFew of De Man’s articles appearednin prestigious refereed journals. Of thenessays in Blindness and Insight, onenappeared in Modern Language Notes.nThe rest appeared first in Festschriften,nspecial issues of journals, unrefereednjournals, or in the Acta of conferences.nOne piece of the newly reprinted CriticalnWritings appeared first in ComparativenLiterature; the rest in foreignnreviews, literary journals, or the NewnYork Review of Books. A good scholarnwill appear in such places, of course,nbut he will also appear in refereednjournals and presses. None of DenMan’s articles concerned the kind ofnhistorical and textual questions fornwhich adequate standards have beenndeveloped over the years. His style is anmush of obfuscating jargon, aboutnwhich his disciples boasted. (Attemptingnto show the influence of Sartre onnDe Man, Stanley Corngold wrote inn1982, “Here is Sartre’s deliberatenantibourgeois refusal to write well . . .nthat has proved congenial to DenMan.”) If Yale was not only tenuringnand promoting De Man, but givingnhim its most prestigious chair of thenhumanities, it was for reasons othernthan publication.nWas it because of crypto-Nazism innliterary academia, as Jon Wiener hinted?nOn the surface the idea is notnabsurd. Liberalism, communism, andnfascism are all revolutionary movementsnthat developed out of oppositionnto traditional European values andnnorms. They are not the same, butnthey share many ideas and instincts. Annintelligent Nazi would not easily givenhimself away in an American university,nany more than smart Communistsnbetrayed themselves in the State Departmentnof the 40’s. J. Hillis Millernclaims that Deconstruction helps tonundermine “totalizing and totalitariannthinking.” Gerald Graff tells us thatnMarxist New Historicists and feministsnhave seized upon Deconstruction as annessential tool in their attack on America.nMiller cites no evidence to supportnhis claim, while Graff’s statement isneasy to confirm. The fact that Marxistsnuse a method does not of itself proventhat the method is totalitarian. If, however,nwe then discover that one of thenfounders of this method was in hisnyouth a Nazi, can we honestly actnsurprised?nWhat about De Man’s anti-Semiticnarticle? This is what Jacques Derridancalled the “open wound.” J. HillisnMiller tells us that the article is andefense of Jews and literary modernismnagainst “vulgar anti-Semitism.” Thennone reads the article. “Vulgar anti-nSemites” think that Jews are intelligentnand aggressive and run modern culture.nDe Man thinks, au contraire, thatnJews are second-rate as thinkers andnmediocre as writers. If they were allnshipped off to Madagascar, Europenwould lose some mediocre talents. Innhis later academic life, De Man’s col-n”A profound and stimulating work.”n—Washington Postn”At once ambitious and thoughtful…na striking rethiniiing of the RomannChurch’s possible future relationship tonAmerican society.”—Commentary ‘n”A work of authority and brilliance …nenormously instructive to anyone concernednwith the fate of religion in thisnmodern world.”—Peter L. Bergern” [Neuhaus] has written one of the dozennbest books of the postconciliar period andnhas put Catholics, Roman and others, innhis debt.”—Wall Street JournalnPaperback, 304pages, $12.95nAvailable at your local bookstore.nIn Canada available through HarperCollins Books of Canada.nnnHarper San FrancisconA Division of HarperCollins PublishersnSEPTEMBER 1990/31n