[Milton-L] "erotic" versus
jleonard at uwo.ca
Thu Jul 21 17:58:55 EDT 2011
I'm with Richard on this. Of course YES is the right answer. One would
have to be dead not to feel the erotic power of:
Undecked, save with herself more lovely fair
Than wood-nymph, or the fairest goddess feigned
Of three that in Mount Ida naked strove,
Stood to entertain her guest . . .
"Strove" there comes directly from Marlowe's Hero and Leander ("Venus in her
naked glory strove / To please") an unabashedly erotic poem that also
provided Milton with "naked glory." A little later we get:
Deserving Paradise! if ever, then,
Then had the sons of God excuse to have been
Enamoured at that sight, but in those hearts
Love unlibidinous reigned.. . .
Sister Mary Corcaran in 1944 lifted "Love unlibidinous" from context and
quoted as if it were a reference to Adam and Eve. Others have since done
the same and concluded that Adam and Eve do not make love. This is a
crucial misreading. "Those hearts" are in angelic breasts ("the sons of
God"). Human hearts throb. Adam and Eve are libidinous, and so is Milton,
and so are his fit readers.
----- Original Message -----
From: "richard strier" <rastrier at uchicago.edu>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Thursday, July 21, 2011 5:20 PM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] "erotic" versus
> Just to be clear, and to continue to be "outrageous" (and consistent), my
> to your "rhetorical" question (clearly meant to be a knock-down) -- "Do
> 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
>>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
>>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
>>> If pornography is defined as "representations that intend to cause
>>> arousal" (in some part of their audience), I am happy to reiterate the
>>> PL and many other great works of art are (at least in parts)
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