[Milton-L] Paradise Lost reading

Ingram, Randy raingram at davidson.edu
Tue Mar 20 15:53:17 EDT 2007

Ann and all--
About five years ago, I received much excellent advice from this list for the first all-day reading of Paradise Lost that I organized at Davidson College.  Based on the advice, that first reading, and two later readings, I can offer a number of small-scale ideas (e.g., we start a new book at the top of each hour, a system that usually allows for brief breaks after each book).  But here's my primary suggestion:  that readers be assigned parts beforehand so that they might prepare.  "Unpremeditated" may be a thrilling ideal, but listening to well-meaning students and colleagues, myself certainly included, stumble through twelve hours of Milton's diction and syntax makes for a very long day.  
The preparation is of course very instructive.  For example, before the most recent reading, in 2004, students responsible for reading Book 5 argued earnestly and at length about how Eve's dream should be read:  should the student reading Eve also read Satan's words within the dream, or should a different reader present those words, as distinct from Eve's?  As someone said, what matter who's speaking?  Overall, preparation for the event can be as rewarding as the event itself, although differently rewarding.
On Saturday, March 31, from 9:00 AM until 9:00 AM, ENG 355 will host this year's all-day reading of Paradise Lost at Davidson College.  Any subscribers to Milton-L neaby would be welcomed with the most comfortable chairs and the freshest cookies. 
Good luck, Ann!
Randy Ingram


From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu on behalf of ann coiro
Sent: Tue 3/20/2007 1:00 PM
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
Subject: [Milton-L] Paradise Lost reading

At the semester's eleventh hour, I have decided to organize a complete read through of Paradise Lost.  I know other people have done this---can you point me to discussions of how it works or give me pointers from your own experience? 
many thanks,
Ann Coiro

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