Paul Jay (essay date 1984)
SOURCE: Jay, Paul. “Carlyle and Nietzsche: The Subject Retailored.” In Being in the Text: Self-Representation from Wordsworth to Roland Barthes, pp. 92-114. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1984.
[In the following excerpt, Jay outlines Thomas Carlyle's ironic critique of Romantic autobiographical subjectivity in his Sartor Resartus.]
Pity that all Metaphysics had hitherto proved so inexpressibly unproductive! The secret of Man's Being is still like the Sphinx's secret: a riddle that he cannot rede.
—Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus
While The Prelude seeks to enact the...
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