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

Salwa Khoddam skhoddam at cox.net
Sun Sep 30 01:07:28 EDT 2007


Is "regenerate" as pure as the unfallen?  Milton shows the distinction between fallen and unfallen human nature clearly when he shows the effect of the fall on Adam's and Eve's behavior and language.  By analogy, he implies that there's a distinction between pre-lapsarian  and post-lapsarian language.  It doesn't matter what language he's using.  What matters that there is a difference for him.
Salwa Khoddam
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Diane McColley 
  To: John Milton Discussion List 
  Sent: Saturday, September 29, 2007 7:13 PM
  Subject: Re: [Milton-L] 'Myth' of "Unfallen" language


  I'd like to pitch in with my usual refrain, that the choice between pre- or post- lapsarian implies a third possiblity, regenerate.

  On Sep 29, 2007, at 4:11 PM, Horace Jeffery Hodges wrote:


    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.

    Carrol

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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

    Email Address:

    jefferyhodges at yahoo.com

    Blog:

    http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/

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    Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
    School of English, Kyung Hee University
    1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu
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