[Milton-L] Beauty dissertation (was "no subject?)

Campbell, W. Gardner Gardner_Campbell at baylor.edu
Thu Jan 6 19:45:57 EST 2011


No, but I found it with a little digging, and found (to my chagrin, and regret) that it was not the "both-and" that I remembered:

"Milton subtly recalls the condemnation, while seeming to ignore it...." Louis Martz, Poet of Exile (New Haven: Yale UP) 49.

As is clear from my response, I think the matter much more complicated than that, an argument I first tried to make in my dissertation and have since nibbled away at in various places.

Thanks for the motivation to dive back in!


On 1/6/11 6:22 PM, "Jameela Lares" <Jameela.Lares at usm.edu> wrote:


I wonder if you are refering to Christopher Grose's article, "The Lydian Airs of 'L'Allegro' and 'Il Penseroso,'" JEGP 83.2 (1984): 183-199 .

Jameela Lares
Professor of English
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5037
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From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Campbell, W. Gardner [Gardner_Campbell at baylor.edu]
Sent: Thursday, January 06, 2011 5:30 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Beauty dissertation (was "no subject?)

Where to look indeed! A great list from a great reader. Yet definitive answers are still elusive. Take for example (as in number 3 below) the famous crux toward the end of "L' Allegro." Does Milton endorse the Lydian mode, following Cassiodorus, or does he exercise dramatic irony by having his narrator endorse the Lydian mode that Plato condemned, thus demonstrating to the alert reader the shortcomings of the "L' Allegro" approach to life (assuming we can even agree on what that is, or what it may be at this moment from the narrator's point of view) and the superior way of life demonstrated by Il Penseroso? I've read a note somewhere that insists Milton is doing both at once: endorsing the Cassiodorus position "while subtly recalling the [Platonic-or is it Socratic?] condemnation." There's further uncertainty here, as I recall from my own research wanderings many years ago, in that the musical theorists of  Milton's day were not looking only to Plato or Cassiodorus for evide!

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