[Milton-L] O Eve, in evil hour...

James Rovira jrovira at drew.edu
Tue Nov 22 08:05:51 EST 2005


I think we're capable of better than this kind of seeing (in other 
words, not limited to it), Prof. Skulsky, otherwise the world would be 
only fallenness with no redemption.  While we can never "be" innocent 
again, we can still conceive of innocence and "know it when we see it," 
the same as pornography.  I think the ability to discriminate works both 
ways.

I think the early cantos of Byron's _Don Juan_, Don Juan when he'd been 
discovered after the shipwreck, also capture innocent love and 
sexuality: the two lovers freely gave themselves to one another without 
fear or guilt, as two halves coming together to form a whole.

I agree with you about the prevalence of Eros in Milton's text, esp. in 
prelapsarian Eden in the texts describing Adam and Eve together, but 
Eros legitimate, Eros in its proper place, not Eros demanding more than 
its due.  We need to be able to realize this in art.  I think Milton 
does.  The question is, then, can this be realized in a visual media?

Is it really not possible to see a nude without experiencing desire to 
possess it for oneself?

This being said, what you related about your undergraduate students is 
still very...believable.

Jim R.


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