[Milton-L] Why oh Why

Carol Barton cbartonphd1 at verizon.net
Wed Feb 20 13:15:16 EST 2008

I wasn't necessarily referring to PL, Carroll--though the "thereness" of a 
work that was so beloved that many people "kept it next the Bible" is 
certainly arguable. The _Tenure of Kings and Magistrates_, the _Defences_, 
_Eikonoklastes_, _Areopagitica_, and even the divorce tracts certainly made 
enough of a splash in their day to be "there"--and obviously, Milton exists 
in the topography of the world's great authors, too.

To my mind, if this question were being posed by an undergraduate, the 
answer "Because he wrote _Paradise Lost_" is too superficial to convey the 
magnitude of the man's contributions--to the rights of the individual, to 
freedom of the press, and to the canon of western thought. Milton is "there" 
intellectually as Everest is there physically--and no one ever said either 
was going to be easy to scale. The achievement is in the ascent.

Best to all,

Carol Barton

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Carrol Cox" <cbcox at ilstu.edu>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2008 12:57 PM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Why oh Why

>> Carol Barton wrote:
>> (I hope the subliminal analogy in my seemingly facetious response was
>> not lost on the rest of the list.)
> But that "subliminal analogy" would be a circular argument. Only after
> reading and studying can it be determined that PL is a mountain, and
> therefore its mountainous nature cannot be the prior basis for its
> study. The argument from 'thereness' was always silly, but at least the
> thereness of mountains, unlike the thereness of poems, was reasonably
> 'self-evident.'
> Carrol
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