[Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost

Tony Demarest tonydemarest at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 14 14:49:55 EDT 2009

And Jim-
Not trying to begin a civil war, not being a Milton specialist, I have always had "paradise envy"- and I really appreciate what those of you on the list present- but having been Jesuit educated, I have always had a problem with anachronisms- and thus I read your comment as such- when in reality, I should have stood back and let it unfold in "real time." I went to Regis HS in NYC where we were whipped into Greek and lashed into Latin, and I remember with great fear that I should never dot an iota. I appreciate your grace in responding and repeat my apology if I did strike a poor chord.

> Date: Tue, 14 Apr 2009 14:24:39 -0400
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost
> From: jamesrovira at gmail.com
> To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
> 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
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