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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: 21 April 2018

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

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

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

Stephen Clark

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846317644.003

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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