[Milton-L] Re: wow even more attacks via detail crazy glue

Tony Demarest tonydemarest at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 17 20:33:02 EST 2010


Mighty fine question, Jessica- and one that has many, many avatars- even more simply,how does one present PL as "relevant" to a class of mixed faiths?Can Milton's greatness as a poet ever be substantially separated from his orthodoxy?I think the question of the "devout Christian" pales before the question of Milton's poetic genius- a talent that surely transcends religious nomenclature.Yet the reader can never roam far from the question of faith and its power of motivation. Alas, alack, etc. I have taught PL to undergrads for the past 7 years, and they have all loved the story, if not the poetry- but even scoffers must admit the story is no story without the poetry.The sound and the imagery- more than enough to catch the wayward thoughts of youth- and, of age.I once had a professor who went almost blind memorizing The Fairy Queen- never seemed a good idea back then- and not now.But I would like to read a thread on the successful teaching of PL- at 66, I can no longer play Satan with conviction- barely able to give the Father a good drone.So- suggestions? Especially student-centered ones- greatly appreciated.
Tony

> Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2010 19:52:01 -0500
> Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Re: wow even more attacks via detail crazy glue
> From: jessicaalexiswatson at gmail.com
> To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
> 
> Since, the discussion seems to be picking up again I suppose I'll
> chime in. As much time as I've spent reading these posts instead of
> working on my own papers, I might as well make it all worth something.
> 
> The biggest problem with the argument that to "a devout Christian" PL
> is heretical and quite possibly "tasteless" is that it is supported by
> passages from PL and the Bible and NOTHING else. Both texts were
> written in historical contexts and it is misguided to ignore those
> contexts. "Misguided," let me add, is not a personal attack. How does
> one speak for all devout Christians, from today or 400 years ago? This
> thread started off well, because it started as a legitimate
> discussion. Somewhere along the line, however, contributors stopped
> being interested in learning or teaching about Milton. I will admit
> that I as a graduate student still have a long way to go both as a
> teacher and a scholar. I can also say that as a graduate student, I
> have come to expect that people will attack my ideas--especially when
> I do not articulate them well. But as someone who is not yet quite a
> scholar, I found myself identifying with comments made on both sides
> of the argument. More importantly, however, this discussion has peaked
> my interest in pedagogy. Obviously, the gap between common knowledge
> and scholarship when it comes to PL is huge. As teachers, how do you
> teach PL to a room full of students that "know what [they're] talking
> about" when it comes to the poem?
> 
> Best,
> Jessica Watson
> 
> On Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 7:12 PM, Horace Jeffery Hodges
> <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Nairba wrote:
> >
> > "But except for Mr. Lindall, everyone who has addressed me has done so with
> > a direct interest to to slight me or distort my purpose, categorizing me
> > personally, etc."
> >
> > Really?
> >
> > Jeffery Hodges
> >
> > ________________________________
> > From: Nairba Sirrah <nairbasirrah at msn.com>
> > To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
> > Sent: Sat, December 18, 2010 3:19:22 AM
> > Subject: RE: [Milton-L] Re: wow even more attacks via detail crazy glue
> >
> > Mr. Rovia...and everyone else...would you please mind backing off the
> > personal attack?
> >
> > My "even slightly" comment was in regard to Milton's main rhetorical theme,
> > justifying "the ways of God to men." I wasn't talking about the obvious
> > character names and locale. I meant the central narrative. Jesus existing
> > before Jesus was born. Jesus speaking God's sentences from Genesis, etc.
> >
> > It is a complete reconstruction, without any Biblical foundation for doing
> > so. Justifying "the ways of god to men" by altering every essential biblical
> > narrative is, in my opinion, religious crime.
> >
> > I've tried to peacefully state my points. But I refuse to take part in petty
> > semantical banter. I have not called anyone any names. Nor meant any
> > personal offence. But except for Mr. Lindall, everyone who has addressed me
> > has done so with a direct interest to to slight me or distort my purpose,
> > categorizing me personally, etc.
> >
> > Unlike you, apparently, I have a life to attend to, and (to your petty
> > jubilation perhaps) will not continue posting today. I'm glad I tested the
> > list waters, but I regret to find they are full of flammable oil. But don't
> > celebrate just yet, I'll be back; I'm a Milton scholar for life.
> >
> > "Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood!!" - The Animals, 1964
> >
> > ________________________________
> > Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2010 12:49:47 -0500
> > Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Re: "tasteless" Milton (response)
> > From: jamesrovira at gmail.com
> > To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
> >
> > I think you're not fully grasping what you grasp either.  You might want to
> > consider what your claims sound like to people reading them.  Here's the
> > main one:
> > <<But Milton's narrative is not in the Bible even slightly.>>
> > "Even slightly"?
> > Milton's PL had an Adam and Eve.  Genesis had an Adam and Eve.  Milton's
> > Adam and Eve ate a forbidden fruit.  Genesis's Adam and Eve ate a forbidden
> > fruit.  Milton's PL had a monotheistic deity who created the universe.
> >  Genesis has a monotheistic deity who created the universe.  I could go on
> > and on, but it's already getting very silly.
> > If you mean that many of the details of Milton's narrative are not present
> > in Scripture, I agree.
> > If you mean that many of the details of Milton's narrative contradict
> > Scripture, I think that's possible, but we'd need to discuss them on a case
> > by case basis.
> > But "not even slightly"?  That's far too much.
> > Jim R
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> >
> 
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