[Milton-L] R. Crumb's Genesis and PL --response to query about classroom use

Crystal L Bartolovich clbartol at syr.edu
Fri Aug 6 11:08:50 EDT 2010


In response to the inquiry about using Crumb’s Genesis with PL-- I did this past Spring in my “Milton and the English Revolution” class and it was a big hit.  I had them buy and read the whole thing for the last week of class (about which there were no grumbles-- amazing considering it was only available in hardback at the time, and it was the end of the semester) as the basis for oral group presentations (I copy the assignment below).

The presentations were pretty darn good- and the students obviously enjoyed the assignment --and each other's presentations (not always the case with topics I've come up with in the past).  I wanted in particular for them to see that Genesis is continually re-interpreted for the preoccupations of different times and places and in this the assignment remarkably succeeded—both with respect to PL as well as Crumb.  It also got a number of them to read Genesis for the first time— I’d assigned KJ earlier in the term, requiring the immediately relevant opening verses and recommending the whole, but there were not a lot of takers for reading the whole thing.  Every student claimed to have read the Crumb cover to cover, though, and I think they were being honest given the great discussion we had.

All the groups but one produced effective powerpoints (though I had not specifically demanded this) juxtaposing Crumb images and Miltonic text in always interesting—sometimes quite insightful— ways.  I still have all of these if anyone is particularly interested.

The assignment prompt follows.

Here are the possible projects:

 --comparison/contrast of Milton's/Crumb's representations of gender/gender
relations

--comparison/contrast of Milton's IMAGERY with Crumb's IMAGES

--comparison/contrast of Milton's/Crumb's depiction of the human/non-human
and the relations among them [note: the non-human includes everything that
is not human--divine, demonic, nature, things . . .]

--comparison/contrast of Milton's "Genesis" versus Crumb's versus the King
James Authorized version

Each group will be responsible for a 1/2 hour presentation/discussion in
which you must make observations in support of a POINT you want to make
about your topic, with at least three substantive concrete examples from
each text, and then raise three questions for general discussion. You can
divide the labor up however you want (you don't all have to speak an equal
amount of time during the main part of the presentation, for example, though
I'd like to see everyone participate in the discussion at least a little).

Each group must select/elect a Chair who will coordinate your preparations,
and be "in charge" on the day of presentation (which may mean that s/he will
be the main speaker, though not necessarily). Each Group will also hand in
an OUTLINE of your presentation, a list of your discussion questions, and a
description of each members contribution to the project.

Crystal Bartolovich
Associate Professor
Syracuse University
clbartol at syr.edu

On 8/6/10 9:32 AM, "milton-l-request at lists.richmond.edu" <milton-l-request at lists.richmond.edu> wrote:

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> Today's Topics:
>
>    1. Re: Prelapsarian hair dressing (Carol Barton)
>    2. RE: Prelapsarian hair dressing (Gilliatt, Cynthia Ann - gilliaca)
>    3. Re: Prelapsarian hair dressing (Feisal Mohamed)
>    4. Re: Prelapsarian hair dressing-- lovely! (richard strier)
>    5. Re: Prelapsarian hair dressing (Horace Jeffery Hodges)
>    6. "knew not eating Death" (Horace Jeffery Hodges)
>    7. Re: that prescribed (Campbell, W. Gardner)
>    8. RE: Prelapsarian hair dressing (srevard at siue.edu)
>    9. RE: 1648 Eikon Basilike posted online with additional     content
>       (John Geraghty)
>
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Message: 1
> Date: Thu, 05 Aug 2010 11:20:03 -0500 (CDT)
> From: Carol Barton <cbartonphd1 at verizon.net>
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Prelapsarian hair dressing
> To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 2
> Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2010 16:46:45 +0000
> From: "Gilliatt, Cynthia Ann - gilliaca" <gilliaca at jmu.edu>
> Subject: RE: [Milton-L] Prelapsarian hair dressing
> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Message-ID:
>         <711BA3688EF1C04E991355A28F3BCFCD013E51 at IT-EXMB3.ad.jmu.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
>
>
> ..
> So, either the angels gave them scissors, or they would have used slivers of
> basalt. With this "or," Milton indicates that he's aware of such questions,
> one jump ahead of your students.
>
> Prelapsarian A&E are humans and would be expected to have all normal and
> healthy human physical characteristics, including hair that grows. Some
> paintings show Adam with a beard.
>
> Michael
>
> Just to be a pest, how about finger and toe nails?  And speaking of bodily
> details, have any of you used or thought to use the A at E part of  R. Crumb
> "Genesis" as a supplement to PL?
>
> C
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 3
> Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2010 12:29:49 -0500
> From: Feisal Mohamed <f.mohamed00 at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Prelapsarian hair dressing
> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Message-ID:
>         <AANLkTim6-mTVqT8-7D_cDs3QJA_oKs=xb=9ApphpChGa at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> Stephen Dobranski has a fine article on hair in the most recent PMLA:
> 'Clustering and Curling Locks: The Matter of Hair in PL,' PMLA 125
> (2010): 337-53.
>
> A couple of the article's claims might be relevant: 1) that hair might
> be the most 'spiritous' and pure part of Adam's and Eve's bodies; and
> 2) hair was often perceived in the period to be alive.
>
> If those claims do in fact reflect Milton's view in PL, then perhaps
> prelapsarian hair would not grow.  It would retain the just measure
> consonant with Adam and Eve's physical and spiritual impeccability.
> Perhaps.
>
> Best,
> Feisal
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 4
> Date: Thu,  5 Aug 2010 12:35:17 -0500 (CDT)
> From: richard strier <rastrier at uchicago.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Prelapsarian hair dressing-- lovely!
> To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Message-ID: <20100805123517.CWK53657 at m4500-01.uchicago.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>
> Dear Jeffrey,
>
> I think your student is highly to be commended.  The question seems to me just
> the kind of thing that Milton was indeed interested in.  He was trying hard,
> and
> with a lot of amazing success, to imagine what a fully Edenic fully human life
> would look like.  I think he would have been happy with this question.  I
> don't
> know whether he had worked out an answer.  I could see him going either way -
> - that their hair remained a "perfect" length or, perhaps more probably, that
> they would have found a way, through their ingenuity, to groom themselves--
> or, yet better, each other.  I don't know whether angelic aid would have been
> necessary, but it does remain a possibility.
>
> And then, of course, there's the matter of prelapsarian excretion.  Perhaps it
> was
> sweet-smelling stuff that helped the garden.  Perhaps their digestion was so
> perfect that their systems assimilated everything; perhaps they excreted
> upwards (sublimed) and somehow sighed it out.
>
> Just the right things to be thinking about, I think, in an unfallen but truly
> material world, and in a poem where the author was committed not to be
> embarrassed (whatever hypocrites might austerely deem).
>
> RS
>
> ---- Original message ----
>> Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2010 10:32:36 -0400
>> From: Jeffrey Shoulson <jshoulson at mail.as.miami.edu>
>> Subject: [Milton-L] Prelapsarian hair dressing
>> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>>
>>   Here's a question one of my students
>>   posed--admittedly a little silly, but intriguing,
>>   nonetheless--for which I did not have a very
>>   satisfying answer.  Perhaps some listserv subscriber
>>   can offer a better one:
>>   Book 4's description of Adam and Eve famously makes
>>   much of their hair and, particularly, how their
>>   respective hair lengths manifest their gendered
>>   differences.  If we are to presume that things like
>>   knives and blades would not have been necessary or
>>   invented (cf. this list's earlier exchange about the
>>   Satanic origins of technological invention) had the
>>   Fall never occurred, what can we assume would have
>>   happened to Adam's and Eve's hair over time?  Would
>>   it have simply stayed the same length?  Would they
>>   have found other means to keep their hair in the
>>   state in which we first see them?
>>   (I won't even bother to add the further question I
>>   got about the apparent absence of prelapsarian
>>   facial hair on Adam).
>>   If the question is beneath this list or too silly,
>>   feel free to ignore.  I did tell my students,
>>   however, that I would put it out on the list and see
>>   what it elicited.
>>   I need a haircut.
>>   Jeffrey
>>
>>   Jeffrey S. Shoulson, Ph. D.
>>   Associate Professor of English and Judaic Studies
>>   University of Miami
>>   PO Box 248145
>>   Coral Gables, FL 33124-4632
>>   (o) 305-284-5596
>>   (f) 305-284-5635
>>   ON LEAVE, AY 2010-11
>>   jshoulson at miami.edu
>>   www.as.miami.edu/english/people/#jshoulson
>> ________________
>> _______________________________________________
>> Milton-L mailing list
>> Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
>> Manage your list membership and access list archives at
> http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>>
>> Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 5
> Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2010 11:40:03 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Horace Jeffery Hodges <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Prelapsarian hair dressing
> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Message-ID: <844017.16118.qm at web54606.mail.re2.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
> Hair doesn't just keep growing longer and longer. At some point, a single hair
> falls out and a new one grows in its place. There would thus?be a limit to how
> long a head of hair would reach as a balance is achieved between old?hair
> falling out and new hair growing.
>
> ?(I don't know about nails, however. They just seem to keep growing.)
>
> Of course, this would entail that the hairs falling out?die, which seems odd
> in
> a world without death, but we've already?speculated about?leaves falling in
> the?prelapsarian paradise, haven't we?
>
> This gets into speculations on what death means for Milton. I wonder if it
> refers to entire organisms, not to their parts. Thus, whereas an entire tree
> in
> paradise would never die, some of its parts could cease to live -- such as
> leaves fallen and fruit cropped. The fruit, however, would offer its life to
> the
> one who eats, and the leaves would fertilize the garden and thereby circulate
> their life.
>
> But I'm merely guessing at what Milton might have thought.
>
> Jeffery Hodges
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: Jeffrey Shoulson <jshoulson at mail.as.miami.edu>
> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Sent: Thu, August 5, 2010 11:32:36 PM
> Subject: [Milton-L] Prelapsarian hair dressing
>
> Here's a question one of my students posed--admittedly a little silly, but
> intriguing, nonetheless--for which I did not have a very satisfying answer.
> ?Perhaps some listserv subscriber can offer a better one:
>
>
> Book 4's description of Adam and Eve famously makes much of their hair and,
> particularly, how their respective hair lengths manifest their gendered
> differences. ?If we are to presume that things like knives and blades would
> not
> have been necessary or invented (cf. this list's earlier exchange about the
> Satanic origins of technological invention) had the Fall never occurred, what
> can we assume would have happened to Adam's and Eve's hair over time? ?Would
> it
> have simply stayed the same length? ?Would they have found other means to keep
> their hair in the state in which we first see them?
>
> (I won't even bother to add the further question I got about the apparent
> absence of prelapsarian facial hair on Adam).
>
> If the question is beneath this list or too silly, feel free to ignore. ?I did
> tell my students, however, that I would put it out on the list and see what it
> elicited.
>
> I need a haircut.
>
> Jeffrey
>
>
> Jeffrey S. Shoulson, Ph. D.
> Associate Professor of English and Judaic Studies
> University of Miami
> PO Box 248145
> Coral Gables, FL 33124-4632
>
> (o) 305-284-5596
> (f) 305-284-5635
>
> ON LEAVE, AY 2010-11
>
> jshoulson at miami.edu
> www.as.miami.edu/english/people/#jshoulson
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 6
> Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2010 12:06:14 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Horace Jeffery Hodges <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>
> Subject: [Milton-L] "knew not eating Death"
> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Message-ID: <473923.86533.qm at web54604.mail.re2.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
> Speaking of the death suffered by hair, fruit, and leaves, let me return to
> "eating Death."
> ?
> On my blog, I've been playing around with line 792, seeing if it can be made
> less awkward. How does this sound:
> ?
> Greedily she ingorg'd without restraint,
> Nor knew of eating Death: Satiate at length,
> And hight'nd as with Wine, jocond and boon,
> Thus to her self she pleasingly began.
> ?
> ?
> Does this preserve Milton's double meaning well enough? And is it less
> awkward?
> I think so, on both points. At my blog, I speculate about Milton's awkward
> choice, so anyone interested can go there (so as not to clutter up this
> listserve):
> ?
> http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/2010/08/miltons-eating-death-made-less-aw
> kward.html
>
> ?
> ?
> This follows up on a previous entry:
> ?
> http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/2010/08/miltons-awkward-grecism-know-with
> .html
>
> ?
> ?
> Jeffery Hodges
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> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 7
> Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2010 16:58:32 -0500
> From: "Campbell, W. Gardner" <Gardner_Campbell at baylor.edu>
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] that prescribed
> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Message-ID: <C8809E38.649D%Gardner_Campbell at Baylor.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
> When Milton acquits himself most Miltonically, yes, in my view.
>
> Gardner Campbell
>
>
> On 8/5/10 9:21 AM, "Carl Bellinger" <bcarlb at comcast.net> wrote:
>
> Yet is it not to be conceiv'd that those eternall effluences of sanctity and
> love in the glorified Saints should by this meanes be confin'd and cloy'd with
> repetition of that which is prescrib'd, but that our happinesse may orbe it
> selfe into a thousand vagancies...etc
>
> Is this sentiment throughout M's works?
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 8
> Date: Fri,  6 Aug 2010 07:34:02 -0500
> From: srevard at siue.edu
> Subject: RE: [Milton-L] Prelapsarian hair dressing
> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Message-ID: <1281098042.4c5c013aeba7f at webmail.siue.edu>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>
> According to the Church fathers, Adam did not have a beard until after the
> fall,
> the beard a result of a goatish, lustful fallen nature.
> Similarly, for the same reason, the prelapsarian angels did not have beards.
> Sorry, I can't remember where I read this.
> Stella Revard
>
>
> Quoting "Gilliatt, Cynthia Ann - gilliaca" <gilliaca at jmu.edu>: ..
>> So, either the angels gave them scissors, or they would have used slivers of
>> basalt. With this "or," Milton indicates that he's aware of such questions,
>> one jump ahead of your students.
>>
>> Prelapsarian A&E are humans and would be expected to have all normal and
>> healthy human physical characteristics, including hair that grows. Some
>> paintings show Adam with a beard.
>>
>> Michael
>>
>> Just to be a pest, how about finger and toe nails?  And speaking of bodily
>> details, have any of you used or thought to use the A at E part of  R. Crumb
>> "Genesis" as a supplement to PL?
>>
>> C
>> _______________________________________________
>> Mi
> lton-L mailing list
>> Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
>> Ma
> nage your list membership and access list archives at
>> http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>>
>> Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
>>
>
>
>
> -------------------------------------------------
> SIUE Web Mail
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Message: 9
> Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2010 06:31:36 -0700
> From: John Geraghty <johnegeraghty at hotmail.com>
> Subject: RE: [Milton-L] 1648 Eikon Basilike posted online with
>         additional      content
> To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
> Message-ID: <BLU143-W161F6361D59A33303940CCBA910 at phx.gbl>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>
>
> Thanks for all the input.  After reviewing many of the tools and formats
> available. I've decided to give Adobe Acrobat a try.  iPad is beginning to
> offer support for it, and there seems to be support for easily creating
> formats for other viewers (ibook, epub, Adobe Digital Editions -for devices
> like the Kindle and Sony Reader etc.), but they still have a way to go to meet
> my purposes (especially in regards to time and cost).
>
> Ideally, I just want to preserve the high quality images in a ebook-like
> container that allows the ability to add metadata like annotations and notes,
> be appendable or relational to ongoing research like dissertations or research
> papers, create an opportunity for customized annotated editions for personal
> or classroom use, be relational in its ability to work collaboratively with
> others and with other online texts etc.
>
> The first tier for me is the quality of the images, the second is the
> container or the presentaion layer of those images, the third is to identify
> tools and formats that allow for the portability of those images into devices
> that offer compelling and useful ways to interact with and explore those
> images in ways that promote learning.
>
> So, I think I have the first two down.  As the standards and tools for the
> third part become easier and more affordable, I'll work on the third.
>
> I did compile a few basic .pdfs using a freeware tool that allows you to
> download and read the images as entire texts.   It takes several minutes on a
> decent connection to download each of them.
>
> I recently re-shot the Alexander Gill text with a higher resolution camera
> than I had at the time I first digitized it.  For those of you who asked about
> it, it is now fairly easy to read in this format.
>
>
> Paradise Lost, 1669
> http://www.johngeraghty.com/books/pdf/PL1699.pdf
> 178MB
>
>
> Eikon Basilike, 1648
> http://www.johngeraghty.com/books/pdf/EB1648.pdf
> 250MB
>
>
> Sacred Philosophie etc., 1635
> http://www.johngeraghty.com/books/pdf/SP1635.pdf
> 275MB
>
>
>
> Feel free to copy and distribute these for non-commercial uses.
>
> If you have ideas on ways to make these more useful, please let me know.
>
> -John
>
>
>
>
>
>> Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2010 10:25:27 -0400
>> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] 1648 Eikon Basilike posted online with additional
>> content
>> From: jamesrovira at gmail.com
>> To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
>>
>> John --
>>
>> I'm not sure how well it would render your site, but there's a program
>> called PadPressed that is designed to convert blogs to iPad ready
>> apps. I think that if you were to create scans of your pages cropped
>> to eliminate a view of anything other than the page and made these
>> pages manipulable in ways comparable to pages in the iBook reader,
>> you'd have created a very interesting presentation of literary texts.
>> There's an aesthetic quality about a photograph of a real page --
>> especially the pages that you are photographing -- that's sadly
>> lacking in clean, clear, electronic copies of texts.
>>
>> Jim R
>>
>> On Wed, Aug 4, 2010 at 10:10 AM, John Geraghty
>> <johnegeraghty at hotmail.com> wrote:
>>> Thank you David and Carol,
>>>
>>> I hope to start dabbling in porting these texts to the ipad etc.  I think it
>>> would be great to have all the 17th century editions of Milton's poetry
>>> accessible in such a compelling format.  I know Penguin has done a lot of
>>> work on new media books to ipad, but if anyone has any thoughts or
>>> experience on this I would love to hear about it offline.
>>>
>>> There are some interesting youtube videos such as this one from Penguin
>>> (once you get thru the baby book demo -perhaps I should come out with a
>>> druel screen protector and bundle it w/ the penguin app):
>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QCAPv-IKuU
>>>
>>> -John
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Milton-L mailing list
>> Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
>> Manage your list membership and access list archives at
>> http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
>>
>> Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
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