[Milton-L] My post for the day: Cultural Frames (...)

Nancy Charlton nbcharlton at comcast.net
Tue Dec 21 04:08:33 EST 2010

On 12/20/2010 10:58 PM, Dario Rivarossa wrote:
>> As far as this controversy, I'd say it began w/ your apple and arrow "flesh piercing."
> Anyway the "fleshy" interpretation of the apple was JUST a pun, a
> joke. I clearly stated that the REAL reference was to Schiller's
> Wilhelm Tell, and nobody commented about it --- why?
Dario, I had every intention of responding to this but life and 
time encroached.  I intended to reread the Schiller play, and got 
about as far as Act I Sc 2.  It's still on my screen, and I may 
have more comment when & if I finish it, but let me say here that 
I felt that the tone of the drawing was completely off for 
/William Tell/.  When the arrow splits the apple on the boy's 
head, it's a triumph of justice, skill, will and right.  The 
second arrow was to be for the tyrant Gessler had the first one 
missed. I think it is a misinterpretation of both Milton and 
Schiller to orient the argument to personal, Freudian, sexual 
concerns when Milton's primary purpose, from PL I.1 is the 
consequences of disobedience.  It could be argued that Satan's 
disobedience fails because he has no purpose but destruction 
while Adam and Eve's disobedience in the end elicits forgiveness 
and their progressing maturity.  Tell is presented with an 
Antigone (or Beelzebub) type of choice: placate the tyrant and 
have a false peace, or obey the higher law and necessarily oppose 
the tyrant. Somehow I just don't relate the arrow piercing the 
apple in William Tell to PL, where there is no particular arrow 
symbolism, and the apple after all is eaten, not demolished.  
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the apple in WT does not connote 
temptation and is only the object of Tell's test, and could as 
easily have been a pear or tomato or rutabaga.
> If you deal with
> "bare" culture, no response.
In the USA at least, the majority of list members are dealing 
with end of term; business people have many things that must be 
done either right before or right after the end of the year, and 
a few are flying south to get away from it all.  These things you 
bring up are not ignored; they simply may take more time and 
thought to formulate a worthwhile response.

It has taken me nearly two hours to write this because I have 
been watching the lunar eclipse off and on.  It was clear, then 
raining, then cleared just as the shadow became so total I could 
hardly see the moon disk at all.  Now it's all cloud cover again 
and I can't see the moon at all but have to trust the newspaper 
that said it will still be total for another 15  minutes.  You 
equate Dali, Newton, Sin, Oedipus, Science.  Qualitatively, this 
may not be far removed from the superstitions revolving around 
"these late eclipses of the sun and moon."  They may not have no 
more causal relationship that does the eclipse have on my cat, 
who has been acting like a lunatic all evening (and whose name is 
> You gotta insert some sexy detail in
> order to have people notice it; then they complain, however.
> I can add here that the Eve / Tell link had been already developed by
> Salvador Dali, together with the Newtonian gravity: Sin -->  Oedipus
> -->  Science.
I truly appreciate your drawings and your Tasso translations, 
Dario.  Please be patient with Milton-L; there's a lot of many 
plates this week.

Nancy Charlton
Jellicle Cats gonna come out tonight
And dance by the light of the moon

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