[Milton-L] Kincaid's Lucifer

Neil Forsyth Neil.Forsyth at unil.ch
Thu Jun 14 04:33:48 EDT 2007

Dear Colleagues

In her novel Annie John, Ch 6, Jamaica Kincaid refers to a painting 
of young Lucifer. The context makes it clear this a reference to 
Paradise Lost. In an interview, she says the following:

My feeling of how wrong my own punishment was, was very much in my small
    mind as I was [copying out pages of Paradise Lost]. So ... this story about
    the powerless and the powerful is very much connected with my feelings of
    powerlessness. And I think it is very connected to justice and injustice,
    whatever Milton intended.... My version [of Paradise Lost] had a painting
    of Lucifer. His hair was snakes, all striking. Oh it was fabulous! I was
    the wrong person to give it to. Milton's work, Kincaid says, "left me with
    this feeling of articulating your own pain, as Lucifer did, that it seemed
    too that if you couldn't say what was wrong with you then you couldn't
    act.... I felt quite aggrieved as a child.... I did feel that I was cast
    out of only own paradise. (Simmons interview)

Can anyone help by identifying the edition?


Neil Forsyth
Professor of English
University of Lausanne
CH-1015 Lausanne
+41 21 692 29 88
FAX: +41 21 692 29 35
e-mail: Neil.Forsyth at unil.ch
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