[Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost

Yuko Nii wahcenter at earthlink.net
Tue Apr 14 14:08:30 EDT 2009


The Fate of the Very Greatest


“I have sometimes amused myself by endeavoring to fancy what would be  
the fate of the individual gifted, or rather accursed, with an  
intellect very far superior to that of his race. Of course, he would  
be conscious of his superiority; nor could he (if otherwise  
constituted as man is) help manifesting his consciousness. Thus he  
would make himself enemies at all points. And since his opinions and  
speculations would widely differ from those of mankind – that he would  
be considered a madman is evident.  How horribly painful such a  
condition! Hell could invent no greater torture than that of being  
charged with abnormal weakness on account of being abnormally strong.

“In the like manner, nothing can be clearer than that a very generous  
spirit – truly feeling what all merely profess – must inevitably find  
itself misconceived in every direction – its motives misinterpreted.”
EDGAR ALLEN POE

On Apr 14, 2009, at 1:58 PM, James Rovira wrote:

> Well, yes, the consciously inane or the convincing inane or the ironic
> inane.  But the earnest inane...
>
> http://classicpersuasion.org/pw/longinus/
>
> Jim R
>
> On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 1:51 PM, Nancy Charlton
> <ncharlton2009 at hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>>> Nancy -- why would you expect a definition of greatness from people
>>> who think the question is inane?
>>
>> Sometimes even inanity deserves to be taken seriously.
>>
>>>
>>> Longinus would be a good starting point here, wouldn't it? Emphasis
>>> on the experience of reading for reader, seeking qualities within  
>>> the
>>> text which provoke that experience, objectifying a subjective
>>> experience, etc.
>>
>> This is getting somewhere, even if it veers over the line into  
>> psychology,
>> which is seldom sublime and often the opposite. Refresh my memory:  
>> Longinus
>> wrote "Peri Hysous." Was it Pope who parodied it with "Peri Bathous"?
>>
>> --Nancy Charlton
>>
>>> Jim R
>>>
>>> On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 1:33 PM, Nancy Charlton
>>> <ncharlton2009 at hotmail.com> wrote:
>>>> I can't believe it! A community that includes most of the best and
>>>> brightest
>>>> in Milton studies caviling over a non-issue we'd rap our students'
>>>> knuckles
>>>> for! There has not been one scintilla of definition of  
>>>> "greatness" or
>>>> "poet"
>>>> laid out in this whole discussion. The most that can be said is  
>>>> that it
>>>> at
>>>> least makes us focus on this omission. And maybe not take it too
>>>> seriously.
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>
>
>
> -- 
> James Rovira
> Tiffin University
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