[Milton-L] Another spin on the PL store

Horace Jeffery Hodges horacejeffery at gmail.com
Sat Jul 20 17:36:14 EDT 2013


Does this version work to link properly:

http://tinyurl.com/kwley8g

Jeffery Hodges


On Sun, Jul 21, 2013 at 4:12 AM, Nancy Charlton <
charltonwordorder1 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I can't get the link to copy correctly, but there is a review in today's
> NY Times of an oeuvre called Michaels Reise.  This is the story of
> archangel Michael and his fight with Satan, sort of an opera, sort of an
> oratorio. Last performance Sunday at Avery Fisher Hall. If I could move
> heaven and earth I'd be there, for according to Tommasini, the music is
> gorgeous and original. Any spin on the old story IMHO is worth looking at.
> I am coming to believe that it's basic to all fictional plots and a few
> non-fictional ones.
>
> Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines ...
>
> Nancy Charlton
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> On Jul 19, 2013, at 3:31 PM, Horace Jeffery Hodges <
> horacejeffery at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> Please forgive my self-promotion, but for anyone interested, my *BBB*story is now in digital book form and available on Amazon Kindle, and it
> can be previewed:
>
> http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E18KW0K
>
> The many illustrations are by Terrance Lindall. The story is by me, but
> draws upon the writings of others, as explained below, should anyone be
> interested.
>
> Jeffery Hodges
>
> *Statement of Aims and Allusions in The Bottomless Bottle of Beer*
>
>
>
> Some years ago on the Milton List, I asked if any other scholars had read
> Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel *The Master and Margarita* and knew whether or
> not Bulgakov had ever read *Paradise Lost*. No one knew for sure, so I
> looked into the issue but found nothing substantive for a scholarly
> article. The thought stayed on my mind, however, and I suppose I felt that
> Milton’s epic poem and Bulgakov’s *magnum opus* really ought to be joined
> somehow, else this story would never have been written.
>
>
>
> But I had more in mind than these two writers. I was also thinking of
> Goethe’s *Faust*, and not only because Bulgakov drew upon it for his
> novel, for I had read *Faust* in German when I was about 21. Naturally, I
> had also Dostoevsky in mind, as is made obvious by the Latin quote under
> the title and the Russian quotes heading the sections. Those allusions to
> Dostoevsky are rather playful, but I suspect deeper subterranean
> connections can be found as well.
>
>
>
> Other fiction writers alluded to are Neil Gaiman, H. P. Lovecraft, Dante
> Alighieri, Bram Stoker, Honoré de Balzac, Walter Mosley, Stephanie Meyer,
> Stephen Vincent Benét, Alexander Griboyedov, Leonard Cohen, C. S. Lewis,
> Charles Baudelaire, George Abbott and Douglass Wallop (with Richard Adler
> and Jerry Ross), John Davidson, John Donne, Alonzo Deen Cole, Lewis
> Carroll, Herman Melville, T. S. Eliot, Mick Jagger, Samuel Taylor
> Coleridge, and probably others that slip my mind at the moment.
>
>
>
> A number of nonfiction writers are also alluded to, among them, C. S.
> Lewis (already noted for his fiction), Hans Blumenberg, Roger Scruton,
> Franz Leopold Neumann, Stanley Fish, Blaise Pascal, Abraham Lincoln, and --
> obliquely -- myself. There are also numerous allusions to the Bible, as one
> might expect, as well as to various intellectual streams, for example,
> fideism, scientism, and postmodernism, and an understated avowal of the
> value of Western Civilization.
>
>
>
> While there are irony, satire, spoof, and other literary games, my style
> is what might be called “playful seriousness,” or *serio ludere*, as the
> Renaissance writers called it, signifying the struggle for knowledge in a
> paradoxical and contradictory world. As such, the story is concerned with
> epistemology, how we know what we know, and with the distinction between
> two kinds of knowledge, theoretical and experiential. What my story does
> that is different will likely seem unimpressive, primarily because the
> achievement was rather simple (and already noted): it brought together John
> Milton’s *Paradise Lost* and Mikhail Bulgakov’s *The Master and Margarita*.
> This basically took two weeks in February 2012, though I fine-tuned and
> retouched for another six months. Those two weeks of writing proved rather
> uncanny for me because the story came so easily, despite taking a vacation
> trip on Jeju Island (South Korea) for one of those weeks, when I spent the
> daytime driving, with only a little time each evening for writing. I really
> came to understand why ancient writers believed in and called upon the muse.
>
>
>
> I do not know if this story is important, but it draws upon important
> stories to tell its tale -- a Faustian story that borrows characters from
> Bulgakov and language from Milton, among other things from other tales --
> so it is at least important for drawing readers’ attention to these other
> stories. I hope that the basic story is accessible, and I think that it
> will be, so if readers enjoy it, they might follow up some of the allusions
> and immerse themselves more deeply in Western literature.
>
>
>
> Most of all, I hope that the story offers enjoyment . . . *fun*.
>
>
> Horace Jeffery Hodges
>
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