Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Irony on OccasionFrom Schlegel and Kierkegaard to Derrida and de Man$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kevin Newmark

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823240128

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823240128.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 31 July 2021

Terrible Flowers: Jean Paulhan and the Irony of Rhetoric

Terrible Flowers: Jean Paulhan and the Irony of Rhetoric

Chapter:
(p.203) Eight Terrible Flowers: Jean Paulhan and the Irony of Rhetoric
Source:
Irony on Occasion
Author(s):

Kevin Newmark

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823240128.003.0009

Where in the 20th century might one locate the survival of ironic thinking, reading, and writing as initiated by Schlegel and carried forward by Kierkegaard and Nietzsche? This chapter suggests that two of the most likely candidates would be French: Maurice Blanchot and Jean Paulhan, shadowy figures of ironic theory and its shadowy practice. Paulhan's 1941 text, The Flowers of Tarbes, responds to the unavoidable but perplexing question: what is literature? Far from offering an innocent description of the founding distinction between figural and literal language, Paulhan's text, as read by Blanchot, testifies to a mysterious and dangerous experience of terror constantly repeated in writing. The terror at issue is at once literary, philosophical, social, and political. The experience of this terror found in letters, which includes the paradoxical potential to enable thought as well as to erase it in mindlessly mechanical clichés, is named by both Blanchot and Paulhan: irony.

Keywords:   Blanchot, Paulhan, The Flowers of Tarbes, Innocence, Figural language, Literal language, Mystery, Terror, Clichés, Irony

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .