[Milton-L] Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night...

jonnyangel junkopardner at comcast.net
Sat Dec 27 00:53:26 EST 2008

>> Who's better Carol? Who?
> Stock market rankings at this level of excellence are absurd, but we can
> speak of rough equals without too much foolishness.

I said there is *no greater writer that has ever lived*. Equal, perhaps, as
it's all subjective/tastes at the highest levels of literature of _who_ is
the best. I believe Milton is, but Milton was a poet and prose polemicist,
Shakespeare was a playwright, Plato was a philosopher and on and on. Which
is why I said "writer".

There is a linguistic virtuosity is Milton's writing and an execution of
craft that is unparalleled. Of course you can argue that there are/were
writers _equal_ to Milton, but I don't see how one could argue that there
is/was a _greater_ writer that has ever lived.

And Homer indeed was the first, but does that make him better? There were a
lot of basketball players before Jordon, but you would be hard pressed to
argue that he wasn't the best (and nowhere near the first, btw).

As for the rest, I am not _narrowing_ my reading (nor have I ever) just
because I believe Milton is the best and that's good enough for me, the rest
be damned.  

You didn't mention Henry Miller, Hemmingway, Fitzgerald, Vonnegut, Salinger
etc, but you did acknowledge that your list was (indeed) euro-centric. Hell,
I think Shirley Jackson's _The Lottery_ is one of the greatest short stories
ever written. 

But once again, with regard to Milton, there is no greater writer that has
ever lived. 

That's all I said initially, and that's all I'm saying now.



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