[Milton-L] Mitonoclasts vs Miltonolatres
jcu at email.arizona.edu
Mon Feb 14 13:18:48 EST 2011
Larisa & Harold:
For what it's worth, the first (and almost the last) time I encountered
the word "Miltonolater" was in an essay by John Wain, the English
novelist and poet, entitled "Strength and Isolation: Pessimistic Notes
of a Miltonolater," in /The Living Milton/, edited by Frank Kermode
(London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1960).
I can't recall having encountered "Miltonoclast" before it was used in
I think Bardolatry and Bibliolatry are rather useful coinages; are they
On 2/14/2011 7:40 AM, Zámbóné Kocic Larisa wrote:
> 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. "eidololatres").
> "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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John C. Ulreich
Professor of English
Chair, Dean’s Advisory Committee
College of Humanities
Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely
according to conscience, above all other liberties.
John Milton: /Areopagitica/
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