[Milton-L] KJV in NYTimes

Jameela Lares Jameela.Lares at usm.edu
Mon Jan 10 17:49:28 EST 2011


I am happy to see any discussion of the KJV in this its 400th year, as I am starting a Ph.D. seminar next week on Milton, Bunyan, and the King James Bible.  

In the past for such classes, I have used F. F. Bruce's History of the Bible in English (Lutterworth, 2003), though this year I am using a trade book written by a Miltonist, Gordon Campbell's readable Bible: The Story of the King James Version, 1611-2011.  The UK amazon site has an entertaining video of of the author: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bible-Story-James-Version-1611-2011/dp/0199557594/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1294699561&sr=1-1.

I'll be having the students each choose a book and an article to report on.  I've already attached my selected bibliography to the syllabus, but if anyone wants to list a favorite title, I'm all ears. 

Jameela Lares
Professor of English
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5037
Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
601 266-4319 ofc
601 266-5757 fax
From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] On Behalf Of Nancy Charlton [nbcharlton at comcast.net]
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2011 4:36 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: [Milton-L] KJV in NYTimes


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?

Nancy Charlton

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