[Milton-L] re-post of riposte

richard strier rastrier at uchicago.edu
Thu Jan 7 16:51:13 EST 2010

I'm not sure whether this got put on the list or not (I never got it myself), or 
went just to John R, so I am re-posting it (disregard if you got it before):

I didn't expect any agreement at all, so half of John R's mind is pretty good.  Let 
me try one other formulation, and see if this helps any.  I think that what Milton 
is doing in the presentation of human life in Eden -- which I'm on record 
thinking the greatest and deepest thing in PL -- is trying to imagine an ideal 
human life/marriage.  I think that is more important to him, and more of what 
he is trying to accomplish, than constantly to be reminding himself that this is 
an ideal PRELAPSARIAN human life, and that he has to rigorously exclude 
anything that is supposed, traditionally, to be postlapsarian.  If he has, uniquely, 
sex and labor before the fall, why not some version of seasonal change, 
ripening and overripening fruit, etc?  And I think it possible to exaggerate the 
division between pre and post.  I also think that with regard to Eden, M is more 
interested in ethical matters (in the broad Aristotelian sense of ethics) than in 
cosmological ones.  Hope this helps a bit. 


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