Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Reading Rochester$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Edward Burns

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780853230380

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846317644

Show Summary Details
Page of
date: 24 November 2017

‘Upon Nothing’: Rochester and the Fear of Non-entity

‘Upon Nothing’: Rochester and the Fear of Non-entity

Chapter:
(p.98) ‘Upon Nothing’: Rochester and the Fear of Non-entity
Source:
Reading Rochester
Author(s):

Tony Barley

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846317644.007

This chapter discusses the descriptive definition of non-entity in Rochester's poem ‘Upon Nothing’. The playfulness of Rochester relies on the promotion of a giddying sequence of mutually exclusive theories of creation and definitions of non-existence, which means Nothing features alternately as a negative and as a positive condition. ‘Upon Nothing’ is made up of several defensive strategies wherein the poet tentatively deals with his own sense of non-identity. The poet starts by juggling with the notional aspects of an external in order to protect himself from Nothing. The existence of no positive absolute, no secure ontological frame or fabric is assumed by Rochester. This version of Rochester is concerned with demystification and common-sense deflation. Rochester attempts to distinguish and distance himself from non-entity disguised as a friendly advocate of Nothing.

Keywords:   Rochester, Upon Nothing, non-entity, creation, non-existence, poem, demystification, Nothing

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.