[Milton-L] re: PL and genre

BlevinsJake at aol.com BlevinsJake at aol.com
Mon Sep 6 12:31:25 EDT 2004

I am actually in the early stages of a book that similarly deals with the  
"transgression of genre" in Milton as the source for much his work's  
complexity.  However, in a very Bloomian manner, I deal with it  more as a struggle for 
Milton:  the poet needs both to validate  his work by conforming to the 
"greats" (particularly with the classics and the  birth of epic, pastoral, etc.) and 
renouncing those models in favor of a unique  "Christian" work of art.  
(Remember Jesus' tirade against classical  learning in PR, a work which 
incidentally--and certainly arguably--is quite  "genreless," at least in classical 
terms.)  That general idea of course has  been around for a while, but I think 
(hope!!!) it can lend itself to a more  comprehensive, systemic analysis of 
Milton's poetry and his development as a  writer.  Anyway, it sounds like a good 
topic you are working on.
Does anyone know of an essay collection and/or conference panels that  devote 
themselves specifically to Milton and genre?  It certainly seems  that a 
volume that takes different approaches to the idea of genre in Milton's  corpus as 
a whole would be quite interesting--especially considering the  importance of 
genre comes and goes in literary studies these days.
Jacob Blevins
Assistant Professor of English
McNeese State University
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