Is it possible to describe the conditions of understanding irony, or maybe irony itself, working just 'in the middle' of understanding, calls this enterprise into question? The first path was chosen by Wayne C. Booth (as A Rhetoric of Irony was not yet translated into Polish, his standpoint was in a few words summarized), the latter - by Paul de Man, who defined irony as the permanent parabasis of the allegory of tropes. The author tries to show that we should follow the direction of a famous deconstructionist, and that at the same time it is very important to stress the pessimism manifest in his theory. Does an ironist really leave us with no support? Jaroslaw Marek Rymkiewicz (the third hero of the text) with his books on literary history turns out to be very helpful in discovering hermeneutical aspects of irony.
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