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

Nancy Charlton nbcharlton at comcast.net
Fri Aug 6 14:43:09 EDT 2010

Thanks to Cynthia for first mentioning it, and Crystal for elaborating, 
the possible use of R. Crumb's "Genesis" in teaching PL.

The Portland Art Museum's star exhibit at the moment (through September 
19)  consists of all R. Crumb's original drawings for "Genesis."   I saw 
it a week or so ago but time's winged chariot was nattering at me so I 
did not stay long.  I liked it more than I thought I would, inasmuch as 
I'm lukewarm about R. Crumb's work in general.  I would commend him for 
using the clear and accurate translation of Genesis by Robert Alter as 
well as the KJV and NKJV.  On Sunday Steve Lieber, comic artist, will be 
mingling with viewers to discuss the pictures, and I'll go hear what he 
has to say.

It occurs to me that another fruitful comparison might be the R. Crumb 
drawings with the Terrance Lindall pictures, links to which have been 
posted here not long ago.

Kudos to John Geraghty and his scanner for their labor of love.

A few of the prints, too small to be read easily:   
"About"   http://specialexhibitions.pam.org/rcrumb/about/

Nancy Charlton
Beaverton, Oregon

On 8/6/2010 8:08 AM, Crystal L Bartolovich wrote:
> 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

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