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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 November 2017

On Not Being a Very Punctual Subject: Rochester and the Invention of Modernity

On Not Being a Very Punctual Subject: Rochester and the Invention of Modernity

Chapter:
(p.114) On Not Being a Very Punctual Subject: Rochester and the Invention of Modernity
Source:
Reading Rochester
Author(s):

Nick Davis

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/UPO9781846317644.008

This chapter examines the proposition that Rochester's poems are written partly out of engagement with an intellectual politics of general cultural significance. The will to know is always presented in a recognizable form for Rochester, which requires recognition. It is exactly in discourse that the mind produces its imperfect synthesis of presents. Some of the best writings of Rochester offer to go with an intimate temporality by foregrounding the duration in difference of linguistic utterance made up of whatever sense of time human beings might possess. The poem ‘The Disabled Debauchee’ developed as a densely-choreographed move between the present moments of retrospection, attention and anticipation. The connection between ego and the compulsive other of the ego is marked by aggression and identification in forms that can unpredictably and readily exchange places, which is a movement tracked recurrently in the poems of Rochester.

Keywords:   Rochester, poems, aggression, identification, retrospection, attention, anticipation, The Disabled Debauchee, ego

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