[Milton-L] assumptions about the fruit, a question for john leonard

cbartonphd1 cbartonphd1 at verizon.net
Fri Apr 11 13:05:38 EDT 2014


It's a pot tree, I tell you, Salwa--and the proof is that all she wants to do is eat and have sex after tasting it!

(Cheeky, but all in good fun.)
Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S®III

-------- Original message --------
From: Salwa Khoddam <skhoddam at cox.net> 
Date:04/11/2014  12:52 PM  (GMT-05:00) 
To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu> 
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] assumptions about the fruit,	a question for john leonard 

I think "taste" entails the act of, as Carol puts it so clearly and vividly, a "gastric experience" which obviously happens only when something is "tasted." So, we cannot separate the taste from the act of tasting, and the act of tasting here was forbidden from an arbitrary tree with an ambiguous fruit.The act of tasting produced different experiences of taste in Eve, so she is "exact" of taste now, and drunk with the intensity of this "new" taste that is aroused in her because of sin.
Salwa
Salwa Khoddam PhD
Professor of English Emerita
Oklahoma City University
Author of *Mythopoeic Narnia:
Memory, Metaphor, and Metamorphoses 
in The Chronicles of Narnia*
skhoddam at cox.net
----- Original Message -----
From: cbartonphd1
To: John Milton Discussion List
Sent: Friday, April 11, 2014 11:38 AM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] assumptions about the fruit,a question for john leonard

So now it would be something like "of all gastric experiences else . . . "


Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S®III


-------- Original message --------
From: Gregory Machacek 
Date:04/11/2014 12:15 PM (GMT-05:00) 
To: John Milton Discussion List 
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] assumptions about the fruit, a question for john leonard 

Carol, that's the play I imagined.  Black can play:  But "taste" doesn't necessarily mean flavor; consider 1.2, where it means "action of taking a bite of"

To which White responds:  Yes, but that meaning of taste lends itself much more awkwardly than flavor to being pluralized as a count-noun:  "amid the choice of all [actions of taking a bite of] else to please their appetite.

Checkmate.

Greg Machacek
Professor of English
Marist College


-----milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu wrote: -----
To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
From: cbartonphd1 
Sent by: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
Date: 04/11/2014 12:09PM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] assumptions about the fruit, a question for john leonard

Devil's advocate (JL, does that make you . . . Never mind):

But "taste" here could mean either the act of tasting, or the flavor (or , because our boy is a wily little devil himself) both. 


Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S®III


-------- Original message --------
From: Gregory Machacek 
Date:04/11/2014 11:41 AM (GMT-05:00) 
To: John Milton Discussion List 
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] assumptions about the fruit, a question for john leonard 

You don't have to try to guess the passage I have in mind, so I'll take Salwa's answering the question flatly on your behalf as the pretext for my reveal:

"No, the fruit that Eve ate would not taste different, objectively speaking"

7.46ff reveal that one taste, among the many tastes available to them in Eden, is prohibited to Adam and Eve (again, I think, not deliberately, but only incidentally, as a result of the fact that there's only tree that bears that fruit):

Charged not to touch the interdicted Tree,
If they transgress, and slight that sole command,
So easily obey'd amid the choice
Of all tastes else to please their appetite
Though wandering.

You do still have one move, I think.  But I have, I think, a counter for that.   So I see checkmate in one turn.

Greg Machacek
Professor of English
Marist College


-----milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu wrote: -----
To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
From: John K Leonard 
Sent by: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
Date: 04/11/2014 11:30AM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] assumptions about the fruit, a question for john leonard

Well, I don't know what passage you have in mind, Greg, but the lines I quoted speak to the question you asked, and my answer remains the same. Eve thinks (persuades herself) that the forbidden fruit tastes different (better) than unforbidden fruit, but the narrator declines to confirm this. I think his implication (of course he doesn't know, any more than we can) is that Eve "fancied" the difference. Adam expresses a similar fancy at 9.1023:
 
 Much pleasure we have lost, while we abstained
From this delightful fruit, nor known till now
True relish, tasting; if such pleasure be
In things to us forbidden, it might be wished,
For this one tree had been forbidden ten.
 
Adam's lines are even more telling than Eve's for he admits that it is the forbidding, not the fruit itself, that adds that spicy something special, which could (theoretically) be extended to any other tree. He speaks more truly than he realizes, for "ten" (as Fowler points out in an excellent note) is a dramatic irony proleptic of the Ten Commandments.
 
All best,
 
John
 
 
The lines are inconclusive on the question of whether the forbidden tree is a different kind of fruit. But you obviously have a different passage in mind, so be a sport and let us taste. 
 
On 04/11/14, Gregory Machacek <Gregory.Machacek at marist.edu> wrote:
No, no, no.  That's not our passage, and that's not my question.

Would the apples (as you would have it) on the trees from which Adam and Eve may eat have (actually, objectively, intrinsically, in themselves, to an objective, unforbidden observer) a different taste from the ones on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?



Greg Machacek
Professor of English
Marist College


-----milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu wrote: -----
To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
From: John K Leonard 
Sent by: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu
Date: 04/11/2014 10:55AM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] assumptions about the fruit, a question for john leonard

I'll be a sport and answer. I  think Eve thought the forbidden fruit tasted different:
 
                        such delight till then, as seemed,
   In fruit she never tasted, whether true
   Or fancied so, through expectation high
   Of knowledge, nor was godhead from her thought. (9.789-92)
 
It is Eve's "expectation" of tasting something special that makes the fruit "seem" different. I admit that there is an equivocation in the narrator's  "seemed" and "whether true", but even that can be read as an equivocation as to whether these are the best apples (in either of the two  senses that have been proposed) that Eve has      ever tasted. I do not think that these lines (if they are the ones you plan to spring as your "reveal") clinch the case for the forbidden tree being a unique specimen of its kind. Even you or I might say (and sincerely mean) "that's the best apple I ever tasted."
 
John Leonard
 
On 04/11/14, Gregory Machacek <Gregory.Machacek at marist.edu> wrote:
. . . sensing a lull in our recent storm of exchanges . . .

May I return to an issue that arose in the course of our discussion?  I had made the claim that Satan's "apples" at 9.585 must mean the        more general "fruits" rather than the species-name for genus malus, because if Eve knew the fruit on the forbidden tree as an apple, she would not have needed to be brought to the tree itself to know that the fruit the serpent was discussing was the one on the forbidden tree.  She        could right then have said "Oh, we're not allowed to eat apples" (If I'd known my colloquial hypothetical speech was to become a subject line for our e-mail exchange, I'd have been more careful with my verb choice!)

John Leonard rightly pointed out that that argument rested on the assumption that "the forbidden tree was the only one of its kind."  He indicated that he has "always made the opposite assumption that it was just one of many apple trees that was singled out from the others (and other kinds of tree) by the simple        fact of being prohibited."

I have been searching for textual confirmation that one or the other of our assumptions is correct, and have shared the various passages from PL that        seem to me to incline one direction or the other, but have judged each passage ultimately inconclusive on the matter. But now I have found what I think is conclusive textual evidence.

The reveal will be the more dramatic, though, if John is willing to be a sport and answer the following question.

Would the apples (as you would have it) on the trees from which Adam and Eve may eat have a different taste from the ones on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?

Be careful how you answer.  I see checkmate in two moves.

In my glee to think I might triumph over John Leonard in a battle of close reading, I almost presume to answer for him, "No, of course not, they're        both just apples."  But I will let him answer.


Greg Machacek
Professor of English
Marist College
_______________________________________________
Milton-L mailing list
Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
Manage your list membership and access list archives at http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l

Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/

 
_______________________________________________
Milton-L mailing list
Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
Manage your list membership and access list archives at http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l

Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
_______________________________________________
Milton-L mailing list
Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
Manage your list membership and access list archives at http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l

Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/

 
_______________________________________________
Milton-L mailing list
Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
Manage your list membership and access list archives at http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l

Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
_______________________________________________
Milton-L mailing list
Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
Manage your list membership and access list archives at http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l

Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
_______________________________________________
Milton-L mailing list
Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
Manage your list membership and access list archives at http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l

Milton-L web site: http://johnmilton.org/
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.richmond.edu/pipermail/milton-l/attachments/20140411/1fb7c0ba/attachment-0001.html>


More information about the Milton-L mailing list