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

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Sat Dec 27 01:21:53 EST 2008


J --

You can't say:

³There is no -greater- writer that has ever lived².

and then say:

And all of this talk about _who¹s the greatest_ is a complete distortion of
what I said (see above) and more importantly, a complete waste of time.

And make any sense at all.  "No greater" implies a comparison whether you
intend it or not -- a willingness to acknowledge others "as good" but no
others "as better," all comparative terms.

Evaluating Milton as a writer means taking into account all his writing.  I
would say there are better prose writers and better authors of shorter
poems, and Shakespeare was certainly a better dramatist.

If you mean to say that there are no greater epic poets, that's a different
claim.  I don't know.  Perhaps.  I don't know what that claim means, or why
it is important.  What are the standards of greatness here?  Are you
following Longinus?   This sounds a bit like the exercise at the beginning
of Dead Poets Society.

Jim R
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