[Milton-L] Re: Milton-L Digest, Vol 16, Issue 13

Michael Bryson michael.bryson at csun.edu
Fri Feb 11 22:39:29 EST 2005

Is this list scholarly or remedial? Good question. Milton-L
draws a wide range of participants, from undergraduates to
well-respected scholars, but of late the list does seem to
have veered into the territory of paper-writing advice (for
which there is a place, to be sure) and re-delineations of
venerable critical positions as if they were eternal verities
(or as if no other positions were even thinkable). But a
conversation is only what its participants make of it, and for
my own part, I have certainly not contributed a great deal. I
read the list, but only rarely post anything. I suspect that
there are many (including some of the aforementioned
well-respected scholars) whose relation to Milton-L is similar
to mine. In my own case, I am probably simply too guarded
about expressing myself in this forum, especially about
expressing ideas still in the process of being formed--so I
primarily read rather than post. But those who do post are the
ones who are keeping the list alive. 

What kind of list is it? I'm not entirely sure that it is
either scholarly or remedial; in fact, it seems to be an
occasionally uneasy balance of both extremes (and the
territory in between). Does it have a clear identity? I'm not
sure it has ever had such an identity, at least in the very
few years I have been reading it. It is often exasperating,
occasionally stimulating, and every once in a while really
illuminating (though not, perhaps always in the ways that the
participants and combatants intend). But I’d be hard pressed
to define exactly what kind of beast it is.

Michael Bryson

>Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2005 11:20:35 -0600
>From: Richard Strier <rastrier at uchicago.edu>  
>Subject: [Milton-L] re Theodicy & this list  
>To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
>"Nature red"-- Tennyson, of course ("In Memoriam").
>On M's problems with theodicy, my essay called "Milton's
Fetters" in 
>Lieb and Labriola's edited volume in Milton Studies 38 ('00)
is on 
>Question:  is this list supposed to be scholarly or remedial?
>thought the former, and am not intrigued by or interested in
or happy 
>with the latter.)  What do others think?
>Richard Strier
>Professor of English
>Frank L. Sulzberger Professor in the College
>The University of Chicago
>1050 E. 59th St.
>Chicago, IL 60637
>773-702-8006/ 8536
>Fax:  773-702-2495

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