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Reading Rochester$
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Edward Burns

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780853230380

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317644

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date: 20 January 2019

‘Something Genrous in Meer Lust’?: Rochester and Misogyny

‘Something Genrous in Meer Lust’?: Rochester and Misogyny

(p.21) ‘Something Genrous in Meer Lust’?: Rochester and Misogyny
Reading Rochester

Stephen Clark

Liverpool University Press

This chapter explores the issue of misogyny in relation to Rochester's work. Sexual explicitness is one of the chief attractions of Rochester's poetry rather than a regrettable occasional blemish. The enduring problem of Rochester criticism has been tied to his lyric and satirical modes. Rochester's poetry of cognitive status is treated as a secondary manifestation of preceding intellectual debates. The erotic landscape of Rochester is inhabited by a wide and varied cast that includes a herd of grunting pigs, the oceanic Duchess of Cleveland, and a character named Signior Dildo. The reduction of the masculine community to ‘The false Judgement of an Audience/Of Clapping-Fooles’ is a result of the foregrounding of the instance of utterance in the lyrics of Rochester. The generosity of Rochester's poetry may be discovered and applauded in the continuous recourse to a negative testimony of the body that signifies a type of obdurate denial of a culturally endorsed mastery.

Keywords:   Rochester, misogyny, lyric, poetry, sexual explicitness

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