The essay form as critique: Reading Cavendish's the world's olio through Montaigne and Bacon (and Adorno)

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5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Using Theodor Adorno's theory of the essay form as critique of ideology, this article reads Margaret Cavendish's The World's Olio with specific reference to her predecessors in the form, Montaigne and Bacon. Cavendish's articulation of contradictory perspectives in the same work has been explained as rhetorical play, a habit of arguing both sides of the question or a refusal of synthesis and conclusion. By contrast, this article suggests that the essay form's characteristic hybridity - at once authoritative and exploratory - enabled Cavendish to negotiate oppositional views that were inconsistent with her subject position as the devoted wife of an exiled royalist general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalProse Studies
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

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Michel De Montaigne
Theodor W. Adorno
Contradictory
Habit
Articulation
Hybridity
Ideology
Wives
Rhetoric
Royalist

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory

Cite this

The essay form as critique : Reading Cavendish's the world's olio through Montaigne and Bacon (and Adorno). / Suzuki, Mihoko.

In: Prose Studies, Vol. 22, No. 3, 1999, p. 1-16.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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