Problematics of Literary Criticism


Students are expected to get acquainted with a set of recurrent questions in the history of the disputes that, from Romanticism to this day, have structured the field of literary criticism. The point of departure for the building of such knowledge is set on recent discussions that called into question even the legitimacy of Literary Studies as an autonomous discourse. Students should acknowledge and adopt advanced terminology as well as become able to scrutinize critical discourse in its inner conflicts and different ways of relating to literary writing; and should also get used to study the permanent interconnections between literary criticism, humanities in general and the social sciences.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Gustavo Maximiliano Florencio Rubim


Weekly - 3

Total - 280

Teaching language





Paul de Man, Allegories of Reading. Figural Language in Rousseau, Nietzsche, Rilke and Proust. New Haven e Londres: Yale University Press, 1979.
___________, The Rhetoric of Romanticism, Nova Iorque: Columbia University Press, 1984.
___________, A Resistência à Teoria [The Resistance to Theory, 1986]. Trad. Teresa Louro Pérez. Lisboa: Edições 70, 1989.
___________, O Ponto de Vista da Cegueira [Blindness and Insight, 1971]. Trad. Miguel Tamen. Braga, Coimbra e Lisboa: Angelus Novus & Cotovia, 1999.

Teaching method

The seminar will always begin with a teacher´s lecture (of variable length) designed as a framework for the reading of the critical, theoretical or literary texts previously announced and made available for the students. After that, the detailed discussion and interpretation of the texts demands for the active participation of the students. Texts are read, as a rule, in their original language, but in English, Portuguese or Spanish translation whenever they were written in any other languages.

Evaluation method

Evaluation method - for a final essay [4500-6000 words(70%), for a presentation in class. (30%)

Subject matter

This seminar will discuss fundamental topics of literary criticism and theory in reference to a selection of essays by Paul de Man. Whenever needed, the discussion will be accompanied by analyses of the texts discussed by de Man.