negative capability


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Related to negative capability: objective correlative

negative capability

n.
The ability to accept ambiguity and uncertainty, especially in creating or appreciating aesthetic objects, without expectations of clarity and logical coherence.

[Coined in 1817 by John Keats.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
'Negative capability', understood in this way, is clearly a complex and multi-faceted process of movement between the 'with' and 'in' uncertainty modes, and rests on the therapists' capacity for being 'in' uncertainty mode.
The relevant question for biography we may shorthand via Keats, to the extent that Adorno's ethic of "the subject" idealizes something like a "negative capability" in the face of experience, especially the experience of identity/subjectivity.
Discussed first by Coleridge, these ideas resonate with Keats's famous notion of Negative Capability, in which the ego is expunged when face to face with the radical other (28-43).
Another name for "courage" is foolhardiness, and sometimes Duvall forges ahead when a measure of "negative capability" might be wiser.
favour of a more dynamic poetics, inspired by Negative Capability and
These are without exception extraordinarily well-composed pictures endowed with a certain negative capability. Hibiscus Over Twin Towers is the mysterious best: flower in foreground, twin towers sunstruck in the powdery distance.
"Writing thirty years before Keats, Beckford achieve d in Vathek, a 'negative capability' (Keats' phrase) which is the capacity to identify with other living creatures.
In private, he had given another name to that state; he called it negative capability, "when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason."
She argues that "it has been customary to acknowledge the presence of ambiguities in Paradise Lost, but none the less to underestimate their importance." Far from being a "repressive authority figure," Milton is often open-ended and has near-Shakespearean negative capability (5).
To resort, reluctantly, to an undergraduate buzzword: Fatima Lim-Wilson has that rare quality of negative capability. In "Luzviminda, or Filipinas Make Such Good Maids," for instance, she ventriloquizes a maid:
However, the idea of maintaining, as he puts it, a kind of negative capability in relation to synchronically generated critical categories (as long as this is something other than eclecticism) constitutes an interesting addendum (and potential corrigendum) to Spolsky's diachronic narratives in the spirit of Kuhnian paradigm shifts and their related cycles of redefined "normal science," of the successive modification of such categories as genre.