By Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man, Geoffrey H. Hartman, Harold Bloom, J. Hillis Miller

5 crucial and demanding essays via prime post-modern theorists at the paintings and nature of interpretation: Jacques Derrida, Harold Bloom, Geoffrey Hartman, Paul de guy, and J. Hillis Miller.

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II. 228-31] Rousseau is unique among Shelley's predecessors not only in that this question of the discrepancy between the power of words as acts and their power to produce other words is inscribed within the thematics and the structure of his writings, but also in the particular form that it takes there. For the tension passes, in Rousseau, through a self which is itself experienced as a complex interplay between drives and the conscious reflection on these drives; Shelley's understanding of this configuration is apparent in 48 SHELLEY DISFIGURED thiS description of Rousseau as "between desire and shame I Suspended .

Plato and Wordsworth provide the initial linking of birth with forgetting, but this forgetting has, in Shelley's poem, the glimmering ambivalence which makes it impossible to consider it as an act of closure or of beginning and which makes any further comparison with Wordsworth irtelevant. The metaphor for this process is that of "a gende rivulet . [which) filled the grove I With sound which all who hear must needs forget I All pleasure and all pain . . " (II. 314-19). Unlike Yeats', Shelley's river does not function as the "generated soul," as the descent of the transcendental soul into earthly time and space.

The surface Of the mirror being convex, the distance increases Significantly; that is, enough to make the point That the soul is a captive, treated humanely, kept In suspension, unable to advance much farther Than your look as it intercepts the piaure. The poignance of the extreme dualism here will be almost constant throughout the poem. Su::h dualism is a surprise in Ashbery, yet the pathos is precisely what we expect from the self-portraitist of Fragment and Three Poems. Certainly the anguish of Self-Portrait has an intensity to it that marks Ashbery, yet generally not to this degree.

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