The politics of authorial ignorance: contemporary poetry

Andrew Bennett

in Ignorance

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780719074875
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702420 | DOI:
The politics of authorial ignorance: contemporary poetry

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This chapter takes a look at ignorance in modern poetry. Ignorance and authorial nescience is well established as a principle of literary composition, especially in Romantic and post-Romantic writing. The chapter reveals that declarations of authorial ignorance became some form of a rite of passage during the twentieth century, unlike during the last century, where ignorance became something of a mark of pride or a clannish badge of membership. It also examines the various ways in which the question of poetic ignorance appears in the poets' conceptions of their work and their working methods, suggests that poetic ignorance – as it is commonly presented by contemporary poets – has an incisive political charge, and discusses Infantino's political ignorance theory.

Keywords: modern poetry; ignorance; authorial nescience; literary composition; authorial ignorance; poetic ignorance; political ignorance theory

Chapter.  12500 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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