[Milton-L] lapsarian sex, fallacious, milton's verbal skill (and blake's fruit)

John K Leonard jleonard at uwo.ca
Tue Apr 15 21:12:46 EDT 2014


 
 
On 04/15/14, Gregory Machacek <Gregory.Machacek at marist.edu> wrote: 
>   On different sides of the fallacious/fellatio debate:
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 Greg goes on to  offer some ingenious ruminations on the "coarticulation" of "that" and "fall" to produce "fell", but to my ears it is the last (not the first) syllable of "fallacious" that presents the biggest obstacle to the obscene pun that John Savoie has proposed. So far as I am aware, there is not (and has never been) an English word "fellatious." If our ears are to be as finely attuned as Greg asks them to be, this  matters. I remain open to persuasion, but I have not yet heard any argument compelling enough to woo me from my initial response, which was  "I too am sceptical." I recognize that Greg was  weighing options, not taking a side in "the . . . debate", but the "coarticulation" evidence carries little weight with me. My point in quoting the Carew poem was not (as Carol Barton seems to infer)  that Milton was similarly rakish; my point was to refute Richard Strier's claim that  "even pornographic poetry [was] remarkably genitally oriented." I do not think that Milton was a pornographic poet (though he did have a taste for bawdy puns, as we know from the prose). 
 
Greg's conjecture (I recognize it was nothing more) that "that" might turn "fall" into "fell" encounters another obstacle, it seems to me, in Psalm 145: "the Lord upholdeth all that fall." This biblical verse gave Beckett the title of his radio play All That Fall. Does anyone really hear that as "All that Fell"?
 
John Leonard

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