[Milton-L] The War in Heaven
rumrich at mail.utexas.edu
Wed Jul 12 14:37:11 EDT 2006
Oops. I forgot to include the title of the journal: Representations.
On Jul 12, 2006, at 1:27 PM, John Rumrich wrote:
> Fred Hoerner published a carefully argued essay discussing Adam's
> invention of fire in the contexts of Augustinian theology and practice
> theory. In it, he addresses many of the concerns touched on in this
> Here's the citation: Fred Hoerner, "'Fire to Use': A Practice-Theory
> Approach to Paradise Lost," Summer 1995, 51: 94-117.
> John Rumrich
> On Jul 12, 2006, at 1:01 PM, jfleming at sfu.ca wrote:
>> On Tue, 11 Jul 2006 19:54:55 -0400 milton-l at lists.richmond.edu wrote:
>>> Adam invents fire when bad weather begins after the Fall
>>> (10.1070-85). This is after Adam has absorbed Eve's idea of
>>> repentance and begun to think there may be a point to carrying on
>>> with life.
>>> Michael Gillum
>> Granted. But (1) this is a response to the fall, helping to throw the
>> (with its temperature control, uncooked dinners, and guiltless tools)
>> relief. (2) even here, A does not "invent" fire, in the modern and
>> technological sense. Perhaps we could say that he "invents" it in the
>> early-modern, rhetorical sense. But perhaps it would be simpler to
>> note that
>> "invention" and its cognates, with all of their problematic
>> are absent from the passage (cp Satan's gunpowder speech in 6).
>> Fire is not a capability that Adam discovers where it was unapparent
>> -- as
>> Satan discovers gunpowder beneath the green fields of Heaven. Neither
>> fire something that A proffers as a startling or new possibility, or
>> anything that stretches vocabulary in the manner of new technologies
>> compare Raphael's stammering attempt to describe cannon in 6. Rather,
>> possibility of fire is something that Adam identifies as apparent in
>> his and
>> E's experience, and available for imitation precisely because it is
>> established and intelligible:
>> as late the Clouds
>> Justling or pusht with Winds rude in thir shock
>> Tine the slant Lightning, whose thwart flame driv'n down
>> Kindles the gummy bark of Fir or Pine,
>> And sends a comfortable heat from far,
>> Which might supply the Sun: such Fire to use,
>> ... He will instruct us praying (10.1073-1081)
>> It is hard to imagine a less Promethean, or less Satanic, account of
>> matter. Not only has God been giving fire, even when it wasn't
>> needed, all
>> along; A also assumes, correctly, that _prayer_ is the way to figure
>> out how
>> to use it. If A identifies a _techne_ in this passage, it is prayer.
>> this is hardly technological. Something is at stake here for M.
>> JD Fleming
>> James Dougal Fleming, Ph.D.
>> Assistant Professor of English,
>> Simon Fraser University,
>> (604) 291-4713
>> cell: 778-865-0926
>> Laissez parler les faits.
>> Milton-L mailing list
>> Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
>> Manage your list membership and access list archives at
> Milton-L mailing list
> Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
> Manage your list membership and access list archives at
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Size: 3220 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://lists.richmond.edu/pipermail/milton-l/attachments/20060712/0e86452f/attachment-0001.bin
More information about the Milton-L