[Milton-L] ParadiseLostDaily

Nancy Charlton pluscachange at comcast.net
Tue Jan 1 20:01:21 EST 2008


Dear all,

Some time ago I conceived the notion of making a Paradise Lost 
calendar: one book per month, the number of lines divided by number 
of days and adjusted for sense for each day, together with relevant 
art, notes, quotations from other sources. To do this the way I 
envisioned it would have made a 8" x 11" book about 800 pages long, 
requiring a derrick to lift, and costing a fortune in permissions, 
royalties and production costs. It would have to sell for at least 
$100 a pop. All around totally unfeasible. But gorgeous!

However, I did go so far as to break down each book into daily 
passages--some longer, some shorter, and few at the mathematical 
average number of lines. I had this on a humongous spreadsheet that 
seems to have disappeared off my computer; printed out it was five 
feet long. I was going to offer this file to the members of this 
list, but when I realized it was missing and I've have to reconstruct 
it, I had another idea. Why not put it on the internet?

Then, why not set up to share ideas and comments on this daily 
reading? So, yesterday I set up a new Google discussion group, 
ParadiseLostDaily.

The list will shortly receive a blanket invitation to join, together 
with instructions on how to do so. I envision this as being less 
scholarly than Milton-L, more directed to the general reader, and 
stressing how utterly enjoyable PL can be. However, I'm taking steps 
to exclude students from trying to freeload homework. I haven't 
finished preparing all this yet, but it IS online. Eventually I hope 
for it to become a rich "stone soup" of individuals' responses to the 
daily passages, and contributions of pictures, sound bites etc. 
Google Groups allow that. (Actually, I may have been predisposed to 
use Google rather than Yahoo because a month or so ago I was setting 
up a blog and the sample text was the opening lines of Book   III. 
Pretty neat!)

I hope you'll pass this along to family, friends and students. The 
spreadsheet isn't copyrighted, as anyone trying to divvy up the poem 
would come up with similar results. So use it in classes, discussion 
groups, individual study as appropriate.

I look forward to next New Year's Eve, when if not at midnight at 
least on that day, we'll have celebrated JM's quadricentennial year 
most appropriately and go into 2009 "with solitary steps and slow."

Thank you all, and a merry Happy New Year!

Nancy Charlton
Portland, Oregon

P.S. I don't think I ever properly thanked you all for your help last 
January with the 10-minute Milton, and I know I never posted a report 
on what I did. If anyone's still interested, I ran across my notes 
and will be glad to post a report now that I have more time.   
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