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

jonnyangel junkopardner at comcast.net
Sat Dec 27 02:05:32 EST 2008


Jim, 

I think it¹s very simple. I said there is no _greater_ writer that has ever
lived, and there isn't. I don't care if it's poetry, prose, short stories,
novels, etc. Now, if you wanna argue that X, Y, or Z writer was _equal_ in
writing skills, that's fine. But if you want to say there was a _greater_
writer than Milton, then that is something different.

It seems as if you're getting bogged down in genre, instead of pure
_writing_, and there most assuredly is a difference.

And _no greater_ doesn't imply comparisons, it just is what is. You can
argue equality (as Carrol did), but you cannot argue _greater_.

James Tate is better at prose than Milton was, as was Baudelaire, but
Milton's prose was polemic prose.
Milton wrote greater sonnets than Shakespeare, bar none.

Shakespeare was unrivaled as a playwright, especially vs. Comus, Samson etc.

But I would encourage you not to get lost in a genre game. It was, is, and
always will be about the _writing_: NOT the genre.

John Milton was to linguistics and craft of writing what Muhammad Ali was to
boxing. 

Others (simply as _writers_ and regardless of genre) may be equal, but NOT
greater. 

In short, I'm biased with Milton, but at the end of the day he's a writer I
feel comfortable being biased about.

Cheers (I am), 

J








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