[Milton-L] Milton & Pullman (and Blake and Lewis too)

Campbell, W. Gardner Gardner_Campbell at baylor.edu
Thu Apr 2 15:50:30 EDT 2009


Bunyan opens the book. I see how Milton works in the sequence (but then I see how he works everywhere), though I don't recall that he's mentioned directly. Blake comes in as another point of contact imaginatively, and I never object to fanciful connections if the resonance is strong. (I'm aware that statement leaves me wide open, but so be it.)

"Little Women" is one of the few books in my experience that continue to be handed down generationally. When I teach it, typically half or more of the women in the room have read the book, and almost all of those women got the book from a female relative. Its influence thus remains surprisingly strong, and readers' allegiance to it (even among its male readers, in my experience) is often quite fierce. There's an interesting collection of essays on "Little Women" that opens with a set of responses ranging from Teddy Roosevelt to Rachel on "Friends"-all varied, all passionate either in their allegiance or rejection. Teddy Roosevelt loved it and wept over it. Camille Paglia finds it a horror story. Etc. Fascinating stuff. The book is sometimes melodramatic, sometimes predictably pious (as Alcott said she felt obliged to be, calling it "moral pap for the young"), but also often surprisingly complex. Sometimes the sisters seem to be alternative ways of life. Sometimes they seem figures in a psychomachia. It rewards careful and repeated readings.

Here's the book:

"Little Women" and the Feminist Imagination.

http://www.amazon.com/Feminist-Imagination-Garland-Reference-Humanities/dp/0815320493

Gardner

From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Angelica Duran
Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2009 1:47 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Milton & Pullman (and Blake and Lewis too)

Dear scholars,

It has been a long time since I have read Little Women. Could someone tell me about the direct connections to Milton and Blake?  Also, it seems like the text is very useful in undergraduate courses.  What makes it so? Very interesting.  I am teaching a freshman course for "at risk" undergraduates in a learning community that we have here at Purdue.  The course is called  "Coming of Age in the U.S."  Although I have already drafted the syllabus, this may just be something I should include.

Adios,

Angelica Duran
Associate Professor
English and Comparative Literature
Purdue University
500 Oval Drive
West Lafayette, Indiana 47907
USA
(765) 496-3957
<duran0 at purdue.edu>
<http://www.cla.purdue.edu/english/directory/?personid=80>



________________________________
From: "Campbell, W. Gardner" <Gardner_Campbell at baylor.edu>
Reply-To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Date: Thu, 2 Apr 2009 12:25:49 -0500
To: 'John Milton Discussion List' <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Subject: RE: [Milton-L] Milton & Pullman (and Blake and Lewis too)

Yes, vital to teach the whole of "Little Women," I think. I do this in my Film, Text, and Culture course in tandem with three film adaptations. It's a book with many surprises.
 I'd never thought of doing Milton, Bunyan, Blake, Alcott. "Songs of Innocence and Experience" and "Little Women" side by side? Could be v. interesting. Thanks for the idea.
Gardner

From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Margaret Thickstun
Sent: Thursday, April 02, 2009 9:21 AM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Milton & Pullman (and Blake and Lewis too)

Yes, Little Women is a wonderful text to teach in relation to Bunyan--and it always surprises students who are expecting a saccharine girls' book, especially if you do the whole thing: Little Women and Good Wives.--Margie

Beth Bradburn wrote:
"Little Women" would make an interesting addition to this already fascinating module.

Beth Bradburn


I've been teaching Pullman for the last few years in a module that runs from Milton, Bunyan and Blake, and it does make pedagogic sense as a little tradition.

Roger


Dr Roger Pooley
School of Humanities
Keele University
Keele, Staffs ST5 5BG, U.K.

Tel: 01782 733144


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--


Margaret Olofson Thickstun
Elizabeth J. McCormack Professor of English
Hamilton College
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
(315) 859-4466
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