[Milton-L] Paradise Lost, Hell, Ecology, and Industry

Justin Barnes Kolb jbkolb at wisc.edu
Mon Apr 23 18:36:06 EDT 2007


This project might be a little unformed but I thought I'd put some feelers out. I'm kicking around a vague idea for a Murfreesboro conference paper on PL. It would be about the role of mining, industry, smithing, gunnery, and various other technological manipulations of metal and earth in Hell and the actions of the devils. At the moment I'm thinking of a sort of ecocritical reading, with the infernal and strenuous novelty and ingenuity of the devils contrasted to the gentle gardening of Adam and Eve in Eden. I though it might be interesting to examine the relationship between Milton's ideas about nature, improvement, and work and the ideas of the Diggers. I'm also considering a tenuous, if possibiy interesting analogy, between the "darkness visible" of Hell and a world lit by the burning of fossil fuels.

Can anyone recommend some good critical texts on Milton and ecology, ideas of nature and work from the period, or any work on technology and culture in Milton?


Justin Kolb

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