[Milton-L] Re: "tasteless" Christmas greetings, etc.

James Rovira jamesrovira at gmail.com
Fri Dec 17 01:23:48 EST 2010


Nairiba--

Milton's PL has seemed to me to function something like Christian midrash--an imaginative filling in of the gaps left by the Biblical narrative to respond to pressing theological and moral issues.  As such, it is a reflection of the Christianity of the period, not necessarily a reinvention of it, at least not one as radical as you suggest.  PL is part a long tradition of acceptable, imaginative retellings of Biblical stories--Mystery plays, Jewish midrash, etc.  

As such, PL is not so much scandalous as a great work of imagination.  Being a great work of imagination, however, it is subject to a number of readings.  Absolute orthodoxy does not inhere in the text any more than absolute Satanism or scandalous heterodoxy.  At some point, we are readers who interpret it, usually exaggerating some elements and neglecting others.

James Rovira
Assistant Professor of English
Tiffin University
Blake and Kierkegaard: Creation and Anxiety
http://www.continuumbooks.com

On Dec 16, 2010, at 11:57 PM, Nairba Sirrah <nairbasirrah at msn.com> wrote:

> 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 felt compelled to call Terrance Lindall's Christmas message tasteless.
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