[Milton-L] On Miltonic poetry, Greek groceries, Augustinian hermeneutics

carl bellinger bcarlb at comcast.net
Mon Jul 3 12:06:46 EDT 2006

DeMoulas --and a spin-off, "Market Basket"-- is a chain of grocery stores in
southern New England. "The stoa where you get moa for your dolla," as its
shoppers are frequently reminded over the p.a. system. The chain is owned
by a Greek family but there's nothing particularly Hellenic in its 
I will vouch for the olives (both the "mammoth" Greek, if that's what 
called, and the Kalamata,) which are wonderful, especially when rinsed and
sprinkled with new olive oil and fresh lemon juice.

Between "a blond-haired young man stacking oranges," and the recitation
of Paradise Lost "in gyms and beds..." a novel hermeneutic of some kind or
other, pace Bassinger & Rovira, would seem called for. Won't find it
in Augustine, I expect.

A hermeneutic for the meager salary increase of seventeen cents --the
narrative of the DeMoulas stock boy has the quality of a parable does it
not?-- might be assembled out of [indeed] Augustine, who parses the catch of
153 fish which broke the nets near the end of John's gospel as signifying
the whole multitude of the saved because 153 is the triangular multiple of
seventeen [1 + 2 + 3 ...  + 17 = 153],  and 17 signifies the 10 commandments
plus the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit, by which Christological combination the
Elect have life, snagged out of the ocean of Eros, and hauled out, the nets
bursting, onto the Agape shore of the Kingdom of God.  But how to
read this back across the narrative of the blond stacker of oranges I'm not
sure. He's a good, Orthodox, Christian lad in any case; a sort of blond, 
Forest Gump. When it comes to the naked and the nude he will no doubt
pronounce that feeling line, "Simplicity, and Spotless Innocence," with the
grace and vigor of Milton himself.

Happy 4th of July to all yee Yankees!
(And that's not an easy thing to say for this olive-chomping RedSox fan.)


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <ferment1 at go.com>
To: <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Saturday, July 01, 2006 11:13 AM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] On Miltonic poetry

> Dear James Rovira,
> Where is DeMoulas?  The young man interests me greatly.  I, too, know
> Paradise Lost and also recite it to myself in supermarkets as your
> subject  as well as gyms, beds, and stages.  Sometimes in classrooms,
> though, oddly, less frequently there than I'd thought.  Yours
> sincerely, John Basinger.
> John Basinger
> www.paradiselostperformances.org
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