[Milton-L] The War in Heaven

jfleming at sfu.ca jfleming at sfu.ca
Tue Jul 11 17:17:57 EDT 2006


What inventing fire? 5.396: "No fear lest dinner cool." 
9.386-392: "Soft she withdrew," M says of the departing Eve, comparing her
to Diana, "Though not as she with Bow and Quiver arm'd,/ But with such
Gard'ning Tools as Art yet rude,/ Guiltless of fire had form'd, or Angels
brought." And how is "fallen environment" relevant?

The _question_ of work in the garden is just that, a question. Revolving, it
seems to me, around the extremely problematic status of technology. A and E
in the garden are workers, but they are not, like the fallen angels in both
Hell and Heaven, discoverers. JDF

On Tue, 11 Jul 2006 18:35:50 -0400 milton-l at lists.richmond.edu wrote:
> I'm surprised that nobody has replied to JD Fleming's statement about 
> technology being constructed as Satanic throughout PL. Surely that 
> doesn't apply to Adam's inventing fire. Or does it? I've always 
> thought that passage suggests that technology is a necessary and 
> creative response to the fallen environment.
> 
> The fallen angels invent many human activities, some of them bad, but 
> I've thought the main point of that is that we shouldn't get all 
> puffed up about our ability to raise buildings, fight  wars, or do 
> philosophy. The fallen angels invent heroic poetry and seem to invent 
> music, though we later find the unfallen angels singing hymns and 
> such.
> 
> My definition of technology would be any technique for accomplishing 
> things in the material sphere that goes beyond the obvious uses of 
> our natural physical equipment. When Eve ties up the roses with 
> myrtle twigs, that's a technology. There's also social technology, 
> which includes  things like instructional methods and bureaucracy.
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James Dougal Fleming, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English,
Simon Fraser University,
(604) 291-4713
cell: 778-865-0926

Laissez parler les faits.


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