[Milton-L] 'Myth' of "Unfallen" language

Horace Jeffery Hodges jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 29 19:11:52 EDT 2007

Carrol, in my postlapsarian condition, I can't quite catch your meaning, which is ambiguous for me between Milton not attempting to distinguish between pre- and postlapsarian writing in his epic poem and Milton perhaps attempting but not succeeding in distinguishing the two.
  It seems to me apriori plausible that if Milton believes the story of the fall of mankind, then he likely believes that language shares in the fall, namely, that language is corrupted like everything else.
  If that be so, then he would believe that he also is writing in postlapsarian language, which could explain his concern about safeguarding his poem, a concern for truth that we see in his appeals to his muse.
  Hence my question. Do you mean that Milton is unconcerned about distinguishing between pre- and postlapsarian language or that he is concerned but unsuccessful in effecting that distinction in his poem?
Jeffery Hodges
Carrol Cox <cbcox at ilstu.edu> wrote:

Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:
> Of course, Milton himself is writing in a postlapsarian language, 

No, Milton is writing in 17th-c. English, and the many critics who speak
of "fallen" and "unfallen" language have never demonstrated any verbal
signs by which one could distinguish these two "languages" from each
other or from 17th-c English.


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University Degrees:

Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
(Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University

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