[Milton-L] Fish's eternity = nowhere to go ["mortal taste" / "lethal taste"]

Kim Maxwell kmaxwell at stanford.edu
Wed Dec 3 10:48:16 EST 2008

I think Fish is playing with an ambiguity in "eternity."    If it means, as Aristotle took it, to change for all time, then of course there are places to go.  But if it means, as Augustine and Milton in places take it, changelessness, the timeless rather than for all time, then "places to go" becomes unintelligible.  This means that what Fish says is either incorrect or nonsense.

Eve makes a similar mistake around the word "Good."

Kim Maxwell


<< To say that a “mortal taste” brought death into the world is to say something 
tautologous; but the tautology is profound when 
it reminds us of both the costs and the glories of being mortal. If no mortality, then no human struggles, no narrative, no 
story, no aspiration (in eternity there’s
nowhere to go), no “Paradise Lost.” 
The quip on eternity caught me up short. Is the 
eternity of Milton's PL one where "there's nowhere to 
go?"   -Carl
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Curt LaFond 
To: John Milton Discussion List 
Sent: Monday, December 01, 2008 9:46  AM
Subject: [Milton-L] Fish on Danielson in  NY Times
Members  of the Milton List might be interested to read Fish’s appreciation for  Danielson’s Parallel Prose Edition of PL in today’s New York  Times:



Curt  LaFond
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