[Milton-L] Re: Milton-L Digest, Vol 49, Issue 16

Nairba Sirrah nairbasirrah at msn.com
Fri Dec 17 00:07:47 EST 2010

It was a little upsetting to sign on and see all the recent negativity on here. Jim Meakim felt compelled to speak on behalf of the whole group and insult me, while others felt compelled to call Terrance Lindall's Christmas message tasteless.
For my part, Jim, if I offended, I apologize. I admit that I joined this discussion list to meet fellow Milton enthusiasts to tell people about my recitals. My idea was to chime in maybe once a month to tell Milton scholars I can perform Book II. I'm simply excited to give Milton fans something they never get to see.
If I've simply annoyed people, again, I'm sorry. It's hard to gage how many people are reading and/or taking part, or what's truly relevant or "inappropriate" to be included here.
But unless you got the collective opinion of all the Milton scholars on here Mr. Meakim, your "we" should have been "I" and, moreover, sent as a private email instead of a public insult.
Perhaps I could suggest people chime in their thoughts on what kinds of content are worthy of posting here. Sometimes this seems like an "any and all things Milton" discussion list, other times posts seem very unnecessary, or better for private correspondence.
I therefore ask the list, what's ok and what's not?
In defense of Mr. Lindall, whether you like his work or not, he is a pre-imminent "interpreter" of Milton and an awaesome artistic force inrtoducing Milton to a whole new generation. Whereas Milton is a pre-imminent "interpreter" of the Bible. Because believe it or not, nothing Mr. Lindall could paint could beat-out the "tasteless" reality of Paradise Lost itself.
John Milton essentially took 15 short sentences out of the Book of Genesis, and turned them into a story that would take 15 hours to tell. Veritibly re-inventing every facet of Christianity as we know it. What he did, is ,essentially, disgusting. The main narrative of his epic is not only NO-WHERE in the Bible, but no-where anywhere else. A better example of "Poetic license" exists no-where else.
The Bible does not say the serpent was Satan. The Bible does not portray Jesus winning the war in Heaven with a sword before suggesting, out of his own imagination, to become human and die on the cross. There is no Raphael visiting Eden and telling Adam about Satan, etc. etc...
Many of you know the other wild distortions I could list. But is it not "tasteless" to write a poem about Christianity by changing the entire story of Christianity itself?
As much as I love Milton, and as central as Paradise Lost has become to my life...I am nevertheless in a constant state of shock, not only that he did it in the first place and/or got away with it without being killed, but that it is almost NEVER openly discussed as being worthy of disgust.
Christianity is enough of a world-altering entity without someone coming along and inventing whole new origins, motivations and dogmatic interpretations that have no Biblical foundations whatsoever.
Mormons and Scientologists believe the religious narratives of Joseph Smith and L. Ron Hubbard came from divine/supernatural dictation. But what if they simply did what Milton did? - made up non-sense out of no-where. Is it not "tasteless" to captivate and absolutely mislead millions for MILLIONS with fiction-called-divine-dictation???
Is there anything more tasteless than to swindle a person to the very core of their heart and soul? Just cause you've got a sublime "gift of the gab"??
Milton even went so far as having the angels having sex. Are you aware that he basically said Heaven started off as a gigantic homosexual orgy? A Boys Town to the tune of millions of flapping wings? With God as some Hugh Hefner watching it all?
Were Terrance Lindall to paint angels copulating in front of God on his throne, guess what - IT WOULD BE A LITERALLY EXACT INTERPRETATION.
What I'm essentially saying is: if Christianity, as told in the Bible, is "right" then what Milton did was WRONG. Not to mention "tasteless."


From: jmeakim at gmail.com
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2010 01:51:53 +0000
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
Subject: [Milton-L] Re: Milton-L Digest, Vol 49, Issue 16

You're right, Milton is "no bore" Terrance...everytime I perform Book II from memory the crowd goes crazy when I'm done.

Sometimes I've held audiences of 400+ people, and after 60 minutes of 17th century England-speak, no-one has ever walked out. One time I even got screams for an "encore!"....good thing I had the opening Satan speech from Book IV memorized too.

I really hope I can get universities to hire me so I can spread the word that "Paradise Lost" performed by a solitary actor is just as exciting as an hour of Shakespeare performed by 10...especially when Satan has his confrontation with Sin and Death at the gates of Hell : )

Alright, Nairba.  We get it already.

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