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This is an exploration of the possibilities of letting go of our inner desire for control. Without Mastery constantly engages the pleasure, rigour and strangeness of reading, invoking the forcefulness of the Weird Sisters, Plato's Lady Necessity and assorted literary animals, angels, ghosts and children to explore the inner workings of our desire for mastery, and especially the omnipotence of thoughts. For Sarah Wood the thought of Derrida, Freud, Cixous, Plato and others is a kind of dramatic interaction, a message to be received emotionally and responded to inventively in writing that is both critical and creative. The destructiveness of masterful thinking has brought the planet into environmental crisis and continues to deny the facts. Reading, this book makes clear, teaches us to engage with the unthinkable. It provides a challenge and an alternative to 'masterful' or technical approaches to theory. It demonstrates that writing and power can work productively together. It draws on the power of poetry and fiction to help us think and puts this to work in the book's own practice of creative critical writing. It presents original new readings of canonical literary writers.
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