[Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost
Dr. Larry Gorman
larry at eastwest.edu
Wed Apr 15 11:26:50 EDT 2009
Why do we want to make such judgments? To show off our critical
prowess, our sense of discrimination?
I find the desire to grade poets very teacherly.
From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
[mailto:milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Gregory
Sent: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 10:13 AM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost
I'll put my point more pointedly, then.
Theoretically: at what altitude does Parnassus plateau? If judgment
between Milton and Steele is possible, why isn't judgment between Milton
Miltonically: Isn't Paradise Lost precisely about making very fine
distinctions between competing goods, about discriminating between good
seeming good) and the best? Aren't we being non-Miltonic in the extreme
decline to hone our evaluative tools to a fineness that will allow us to
make such judgments.
I'm responding to the *tone* of many of the comments I cited, the
and easy presupposition that evaluation has no part in the enterprise of
literary criticism, is essentially impossible--
reveals more about the critic than the work.
Does it say more about me than about Paradise Lost that I judge Paradise
Lost the best work of literature in English? No doubt it does. To
Jonson: Judge that I may know thee. Or decline to judge and I'll know
that about you.
Professor of English
milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu wrote on 04/15/2009 09:48:19 AM:
> [image removed]
> Re: [Milton-L] Is Paradise Lost
> James Rovira
> John Milton Discussion List
> 04/15/2009 09:52 AM
> Sent by:
> milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
> Please respond to John Milton Discussion List
> In response to Professor Machacek's post, if we were talking about a
> comparison between Milton and Danielle Steele then conceptions of
> literary merit and perhaps even greatness might be meaningful. But if
> we're talking about a comparison between Milton and Shakespeare I
> think we're asking for more finely honed evaluative tools than are
> humanly possible. A comparison on this level is meaningless, largely
> aggrandizes the critic far beyond his/her merit, and in the end
> teaches us little about the literature and a great deal about the
> critic -- which is still valuable knowledge, so long as we know that's
> what we're getting.
> Jim R
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