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IgnoranceLiterature and Agnoiology$
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Andrew Bennett

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780719074875

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719074875.001.0001

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The politics of authorial ignorance: contemporary poetry

The politics of authorial ignorance: contemporary poetry

(p.226) 10 The politics of authorial ignorance: contemporary poetry

Andrew Bennett

Manchester University Press

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

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