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Ben Jonson and His Reader: An Aesthetics of Ant agonism

Ben Jonson and His Reader: An Aesthetics of Ant agonism raNJaN GhoSh An Aesthetics of Antagonism But thou hast squared thy rules, by what is good; And art, three ages yet, from understood: And (I dare say) in it there lies much wit Lost, till thy readers can grow up to it. (Francis Beaumont, "Upon Catiline") "--neque, me ut miretur turba./ laboro: / Contentus paucis lectoribus" [I do not work so that I will be admired by the crowd, but am content with a few readers] (Sermones, 1.10.73­74) The Master said, "Look at what he uses, observe what he comes from, examine what he finds peace in. Can a man hide? Can a man hide?" (Analects 2.10) Antagonism is not about the clash of opposites but a kind of refusal to accept the existence of opposites. It is negotiation and debate over contraries in a space which does not isolate one from the other; rather, it makes room for progress by acknowledging opposition as friendship. Antagonism in the transcultural poetics of understanding literature speaks of "world-making" which discounts a "false universalism" usually set up through absolute standards of thought and reductive norms of acceptability. By relying on our abilities to appreciate simultaneously the relational and the disrelational, antagonism http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Ben Jonson and His Reader: An Aesthetics of Ant agonism

The Comparatist , Volume 37 (1) – May 12, 2013

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University of North Carolina Press
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Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
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1559-0887
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Abstract

raNJaN GhoSh An Aesthetics of Antagonism But thou hast squared thy rules, by what is good; And art, three ages yet, from understood: And (I dare say) in it there lies much wit Lost, till thy readers can grow up to it. (Francis Beaumont, "Upon Catiline") "--neque, me ut miretur turba./ laboro: / Contentus paucis lectoribus" [I do not work so that I will be admired by the crowd, but am content with a few readers] (Sermones, 1.10.73­74) The Master said, "Look at what he uses, observe what he comes from, examine what he finds peace in. Can a man hide? Can a man hide?" (Analects 2.10) Antagonism is not about the clash of opposites but a kind of refusal to accept the existence of opposites. It is negotiation and debate over contraries in a space which does not isolate one from the other; rather, it makes room for progress by acknowledging opposition as friendship. Antagonism in the transcultural poetics of understanding literature speaks of "world-making" which discounts a "false universalism" usually set up through absolute standards of thought and reductive norms of acceptability. By relying on our abilities to appreciate simultaneously the relational and the disrelational, antagonism

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: May 12, 2013

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