[Milton-L] KJV in NYTimes
nbcharlton at comcast.net
Mon Jan 10 17:36:33 EST 2011
This is the URL for a short and gracious appraisal of the place
the King James Bible holds in literature and culture. The author
Verlyn Klinkenborg, concludes: "Its words are almost never
Latinate, and its rhythms are never hampered by the literalism
that afflicts other translations."
I've started and erased half a dozen sentences commenting on this
and trying to bring it deliberately into the purview of Milton
studies, but the most original thing I can think of, and I don't
recall it ever being discussed here, is the question of verbal
antiquity and archaism in Milton's works.
Many in our day are as ill-equipped as Tyndale's ploughboy to
take on, say, PL XI.385-422, but few would not be touched by
"...took their solitary way" or "Earth felt the wound." Milton
was generally aware of himself as the author or narrator or any
piece, but he was never preoccupied with his own responses. This
he has in common with the Bible narrations and even where the
poet pours out his soul and describes physiological effects ("I
wept") still focus on the reason ("...when I remembered Zion.")
Would this be worth a discussion, or a study?
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