[Milton-L] "erotic" versus

richard strier rastrier at uchicago.edu
Thu Jul 21 17:20:25 EDT 2011

Just to be clear, and to continue to be "outrageous" (and consistent), my answer 
to your "rhetorical" question (clearly meant to be a knock-down) -- "Do you 
really think Milton consciously intended his audience to be sexually aroused by 
parts of PL?" -- my answer is YES.

I'm afraid that the words "consciously intended" don't frighten me.

---- Original message ----
>Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2011 16:59:17 -0400
>From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu (on behalf of James Rovira 
<jamesrovira at gmail.com>)
>Subject: Re: [Milton-L] "erotic" versus  
>To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
>I believe you when you say that at least you haven't meant to change
>your position, Richard.
>You're missing an important qualification of my definition of
>pornography -- it is intended "primarily" if not "only" to provide
>"sexual stimulation."
>Do you really think Milton consciously intended his audience to be
>sexually aroused by parts of PL?  I'm not saying that no one can be
>aroused by parts of PL.  The question here is about Milton's intent.
>I think we need to clearly think about what we mean when we're making
>claims about intentionality, however.  These are claims about the
>author, not about possible audience responses.
>Have you ever seen the film The Last Word?  Ray Romano's character has
>some funny dialog about the things that arouse him at times and why.
>No one would attribute his spontaneous, uncontrolled state of arousal
>in the produce aisle to the nature of the objects themselves.  He
>didn't, anyway.
>Jim R
>On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 4:45 PM, richard strier <rastrier at uchicago.edu> 
>> 1) I do not think I've changed my position at all.  Certainly have not meant 
>> If pornography is defined as "representations that intend to cause erotic
>> arousal" (in some part of their audience), I am happy to reiterate the claim 
>> PL and many other great works of art are (at least in parts) pornographic.
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