[Milton-L] Re: Milton and the Scientific Revolution

Valerie Cullen vacullen at gmail.com
Thu Sep 20 15:02:34 EDT 2007


I apologize for not mentioning Angelica Duran's (brand) new book--I didn't
because it didn't have quite as much on the cosmos.  I thought that it was
very useful if you are doing research about how Francis Bacon's work relates
to Milton's, though.
Best,
Valerie

On 9/20/07, milton-l-request at lists.richmond.edu <
milton-l-request at lists.richmond.edu> wrote:
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> Today's Topics:
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>    1. Re: Re: Milton-L Digest, Vol 10, Issue 30 (Angelica Duran)
>    2. Re: milton's all (Gregory Machacek)
>    3. Re: milton's all (Harold Skulsky)
>    4. Re: milton's all (carl bellinger)
>    5. Re: milton's all (Gregory Machacek)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 07:45:02 -0500
> From: Angelica Duran <duran0 at exchange.purdue.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Re: Milton-L Digest, Vol 10, Issue 30
> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Message-ID: <C317D57E.14ACC%duran0 at exchange.purdue.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain;       charset="US-ASCII"
>
> Dear Jim,
>
> Thanks for mentioning my _The Age of Milton and the Scientific Revolution_
> (Duquesne 2007), which I mentioned to Tim M. off-list.  Since the book is
> a
> (major) rewriting of three of my dissertation chapters, and I still have
> three more chapters that will become (tentatively) _The Great Literary
> Instauration_, I welcome all feedback off-line now and even a year from
> now,
> so that I can repeat what is good in the work and avoid what is bad.  I've
> got a tough skin.
>
> Adios,
>
> Angelica Duran
> Associate Professor
> English and Comparative Literature
> Purdue University
> 500 Oval Drive
> West Lafayette, Indiana 47907
> USA
> (765) 496-3957
> <duran0 at purdue.edu>
> <http://www.cla.purdue.edu/english/directory/?personid=80>
>
>
>
>
> > From: James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com>
> > Reply-To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> > Date: Wed, 19 Sep 2007 16:36:58 -0400
> > To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> > Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Re: Milton-L Digest, Vol 10, Issue 30
> >
> > Seems like Angelica Duran has a book on this subject too.  My College
> > library recently acquired a copy--looking forward to reading it.
> >
> > Jim R
> >
> > On 9/19/07, Valerie Cullen <vacullen at gmail.com> wrote:
> >> I am a graduate student at UCLA writing my dissertation on Paradise
> Lost (I
> >> am filing it in June), and I've found that a useful book for an
> introduction
> >> to Milton's idea of science/cosmos is Harinder Singh Marjara's
> Contemplation
> >> of Created Things: Science in Paradise Lost (1992).  Of course, Dennis
> >> Danielson is a terrific source on this, too.
> >> Best,
> >> Valerie Cullen
> >>
> > _______________________________________________
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> > Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
> > Manage your list membership and access list archives at
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>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 10:03:29 -0400
> From: Gregory Machacek <Gregory.Machacek at marist.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] milton's all
> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Message-ID:
>         <
> OF746F5ABD.D45307B2-ON8525735C.004B11FE-8525735C.004D3842 at marist.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
>
>
> In regard to my sense of what might be the right word for the totality of
> space depicted in Paradise Lost ("infinitude"), Jeffery Hodges asks the
> follow-up question "is chaos the largest realm?"
>
> I would answer that question with a version of the claim I made in the
> second half of my e-mail.  Working in a verbal medium allows Milton to
> offer descriptions that seem like they are images, and register in the
> mind
> a lot like images, but that can't actually be delimited pictorally.   How
> big is a place that is "high throned above all height" compared to one
> that
> is "illimitable ocean, without bound, / Without dimension, where length,
> breadth, and highth, / And time and place are lost"?  A graphic
> illustrator
> will have to make a decision on the relative amount of space each of the
> two realms would take up on his canvas.  But Milton makes them both
> sublimely big.
>
> (I'm reminded of a Monty Python sketch, the preacher saying:  "O Lord,
> though art so large, so incredibly huge, so tremendously enormous . . . ";
> as though some number of size words will eventually capture infinitude.)
>
> That said, I think I would still say that whatever name we give to the
> space God occupies is the biggest space in the poem.  The epic develops in
> part by making once big-seeming spaces suddenly feel small.  Hell feels
> enormous until Satan launches himself into Chaos.  Chaos feels almost
> unimaginably huge; then God turns out to be watching Satan traverse it
> from
> a distant perspective, which implies that even Hell and Chaos fit within a
> still larger space. The passage I've already cited from Book 7--"Boundless
> the deep because I am who fill infinitude" is phrased in such a way as to
> suggest that Chaos has even its boundlessness as a result of God (the
> ground of all being)'s giving it space.
>
>
> Greg Machacek
> Associate Professor of English
> Marist College
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 11:22:55 -0400
> From: "Harold Skulsky" <hskulsky at email.smith.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] milton's all
> To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Message-ID: <46F2581A.7D51.00DA.0 at email.smith.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
>
> Teskey's interpretation of PL 7.168-173 won't work, at least as
> paraphrased by Machacek. If God withdraws to heaven from some sector of
> space, then the unqualified claim of divine omnipresence is false.
>
> What God the Father actually says here, on the contrary, is that space is
> still NOT EMPTY--he remains omnipresent--EVEN THOUGH HE "RETIRES" HIMSELF.
> The "retirement" in question is not his departure from a given space, but
> (as God explicitly glosses "retire" ad loc.) his free choice not to
> "act"--put forth "goodness" creatively--at a space that he nevertheless
> continues to occupy. He has not been brought on absurdly to compromise one
> of his own essential attributes.
>
> Like Plutarch and other ancient writers, Milton is a many-worlds
> cosmologist. (In his case the multiple worlds are heaven, earth, chaos, and
> hell.) The  *metacosmia* or intervals between the worlds are precisely parts
> of the essential substance of God ("I AM WHO fill infinitude") where he
> practices "retirement" by choosing (so far) not to create. In short, the
> universe or totality in which the Miltonic worlds are embedded is God
> himself, not some created matrix-cosmos or "multiverse."
>
> By virtue of his essential omnipresence, Milton's God is an essentially
> spatial (or "extended" or "material") being; but this will come as no
> surprise to readers of CD.
>
> (Incidentally, the "verse" in "universe" is not etymologically a reference
> to the revolution of the spheres. *Universus-a-um" is an archaic Latin
> synonym of *omnis* "all"; the point of "versus" is that, to constitute an
> "all" or totality, many things need to be "turned" into  one collective
> thing (*uni-*). As a cosmological term, *universum*--"the All" par
> excellence--is Latin for Gk *to pan.*)
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 4
> Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 11:33:00 -0400
> From: "carl bellinger" <bcarlb at comcast.net>
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] milton's all
> To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Message-ID: <009d01c7fb9b$87553740$8a292218 at arrgh>
> Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";
>         reply-type=original
>
> Gregory Machacek writes
>
> ]]   How
> big is a place that is "high throned above all height" compared to one
> that
> is "illimitable ocean, without bound, / Without dimension, where length,
> breadth, and highth, / And time and place are lost"? ]]
>
> Also indicative is [quote from memory] "that seat soon failing plumb down
> xxx fathoms he falls fluttering his penons vain AND TO THIS HOUR DOWN HAD
> BEEN FALLING had not by some ill chance...etc."
>
> >From *that* it would seem Chaos is infinitey maleable in extent. It can
> bubble out here and there, as necessary, to whatever distance Chance, or
> Ill
> Chance requires, or Providence[?].
>
> -Carl
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 5
> Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 11:55:31 -0400
> From: Gregory Machacek <Gregory.Machacek at marist.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] milton's all
> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Message-ID:
>         <
> OFA6432AF6.A539B68C-ON8525735C.0057237A-8525735C.00577A34 at marist.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
>
>
> Harold Skulsky says:  "Teskey's interpretation of PL 7.168-173 won't work,
> at least as paraphrased by Machacek."
>
> I hope everyone interested in these matters will do Teskey the justice of
> reading his interesting argument *not* as paraphrased by Machacek, but as
> actually conducted by him in Delirious Milton.  I cited the Norton gloss
> only because it conveys some of the flavor of Teskey's argument, and
> seemed
> more appropriately sized for e-mail communication.
>
> Greg Machacek
> Associate Professor of English
> Marist College
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
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> End of Milton-L Digest, Vol 10, Issue 35
> ****************************************
>
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