[Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Tue Apr 14 14:24:39 EDT 2009

Tony --

I'm not advocating applying Longinus to Milton, but suggesting a
source (starting point) for those interested in evaluating the
"greatness" of a literary work that has some...what....pedigree?
Gad.   I feel silly using this word.

I read Longinus as attempting to reconstruct or define a specific
reading experience in terms of qualities inherent in the text.

To suggest Longinus is not to exclude the other sources you mention,
all of whom influenced Longinus as well as Milton.

Jim R

On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 2:08 PM, Tony Demarest <tonydemarest at hotmail.com> wrote:
> How can one call Longinus and his "peri hupsos" as testament for a 17th
> century work? Why not Aristotle? Plato, or perhaps e.g.'s from Homer,
> Diogenes' On Style?- if memory serves me correctly, and my Greek is at least
> 48 years ago- Longinus discussed rhetoric with bird walks into literature;
> the sublime was a form of almost perfect speech- as with the sophists,
> relegated to a specific aspect of discourse. As one should be wary of
> applying Freud to Hamlet, the obverse is equally true: one should be wary of
> applying Longinus to Milton- and not widening the interpretation to
> accommodate 21st century thought? Longinus is valuable in formulating a
> stand-alone definition of the "sublime," but hardly the "good starting
> point" you suggest. Rather a piece of the LEGO, rather than the directions,
> no? I remember Longinus' receiving less time than Sainte Beuve- perhaps this
> is my loss and I have spoken in ignorance. I would always defer to
> Aristotle.
> Tony

More information about the Milton-L mailing list