Threshold Poetics: Milton and Intersubjectivity

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University of Delaware Press, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 259 pages
'Threshold Poetics: Milton and Intersubjectivity' is a study of the challenge intersubjective experience poses to doctrinal formulations of difference. Focusing on 'Paradise Lost' and 'Samson Agonistes' and using feminist and relational psychoanalytic theory, the project examines representations of looking, working, eating, conversing, and touching, to argue that encounters between selves in 'threshold space' dismantle the binary oppositions that support categorical thinking. A key term throughout the study is recognition, defined as the capacity to tolerate both sameness and difference between separate selves. Recognition of likeness-in-difference thus undermines the exclusionary logic of patriarchal and poitical hierarchies. Both Eve and Dalila demonstrate the ability to respect the borders of the other while seeking out similarity, but where 'Paradise Lost' depicts the eventual achievements of intersubjective understanding between Adam and Eve after the fall, 'Samson Agonistes' records its failure when Samson, maintaining the boundaries of difference, refuses Dalila's effort to make contact.

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On Looking
Creation and Work in the Garden

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About the author (2003)

Susannah B. Mintz is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from Columbia University, and received her Ph.D. from Rice University in 1996. She has taught at Wittenberg University and St. John's University in New York City, and is Assistant Professor of English at Skidmore College

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