[Milton-L] Mitonoclasts vs Miltonolatres

Zámbóné Kocic Larisa larisa at lit.u-szeged.hu
Mon Feb 14 09:40:14 EST 2011

I think I should clarify my question. What I am interested in, is not the
meaning or the etymology of the two expressions (my apology for asking "stem
for"), but the origin, as in who used it first, if it is possible to know at
all? An oral tradition infiltrating that of the written, sure, but can one
pinpoint  when this infiltration took place? The reason I ask this, is that
in Remembering Milton, the expression (Miltonoclasts) is in inverted commas
suggesting either a citation or a pejorative undertone. I wasn't quite sure
what to think of it, as both expression popped up quite liberally in
publications on Milton, and was hoping that someone from this list could
help me out. Curiosity killing the cat :)


Larisa Kocic-Zambo


From: Harold Skulsky [mailto:hskulsky at smith.edu] 
Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2011 9:18 PM
To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Mitonoclasts vs Miltonolatres


"Miltonolater" is a barbarism (that is, a modern hybrid coinage, no doubt by
an affected  pedant of questionable wit or even more questionable
hellenicity) combining a non-Gk name and the classical Gk "latris" meaning
(in this context) "worshiper," on the analogy of "idolater" (Gk.


"Miltonoclast" is a parallel formation combining the same non-Gk name with
Gk. "klastes" meaning "breaker," on the analogy of "iconoclast," a Patristic
Gk. term meaning "one who shatters [devotional] images."


The conceit is that a person who meets the former description treats Milton
virtually as an object of heathen worship -- less as a god than as the
graven image of one; whereas a person who meets the latter description makes
it her business to treat Milton as the imperfect being he was. 


For what it's worth, this writer's humble advice about the underlying
controversy is to beware of false choices.

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