[Milton-L] newly released book
arnieperlstein at myacc.net
Sun Apr 22 20:59:57 EDT 2007
"In a gesture of shameless self-promotion, I would like to announce that my
book on moral education in Paradise Lost is now available from Palgrave
I'm brandnew to this list, and all I can say is go ahead and be shameless,
it's okay with me, your book sounds very interesting!
"This book reads Milton's Paradise Lost as a poem that seeks to educate its
readers by narrating the education of its main characters."
Only two weeks ago, I read Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained all the way
through for the first time, after a few fits and starts during the previous
year. So I am far from a Milton maven, but, for what it's worth, my reading
of the poem resonates strongly with what you say.
I see Paradise Lost as being in a category with other heavily metafictional
works of literature like Shakespeare's Hamlet, or Jane Austen's Emma, which
are also concerned with the ambiguity of knowledge, and which put readers to
the test of determining the truthfulness (whatever that may mean) of the
storytelling by the author. Readers who read these texts "straight" are in
danger, like some of the characters in them, of being "clueless" as to all
the depths of the text.
"Many of Milton's characters enter the action in late adolescence, newly
independent and eager to test themselves, to discover who they are and their
place in the world. The poem charts their progress into moral adulthood."
And that is true of novels like those of Jane Austen as well.
"Taking as its premise that attention to the moral development of the poem's
main characters will open the poem to most undergraduate readers, this book
explores both the pedagogical activity within Paradise Lost and the
pedagogical activity that the poem encourages."
I am eager to hear more about your ideas, would you care to give an example
of a scene of instruction from Paradise Lost that illustrates your central
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