[Milton-L] Milton Mentioned . . .

Nancy Charlton charltonwordorder1 at gmail.com
Fri Oct 3 13:11:50 EDT 2014

Today's NYT Book Reviews has a full and lovely review of "Lila" by Diane
Johnson. This paragraph stood out to me:

Central to all the novel’s characters are matters of high literary
seriousness — the basic considerations of the human condition; the moral
problems of existence; the ache of being abandoned; the struggles of the
aging; the role of the Bible and God in daily life. It’s courageous of
Robinson to write about faith at a time when associations with religion are
so often negative and violent. And goodness, a property Midwesterners like
to think of as a regional birthright, is even harder than piety to convey
without succumbing to the temptation to charge it with sanctimony or
hypocrisy. That is not the effect of this lovely narrative.

It sounds to /me as if the last Miltonic word on this book might be from
III.470-71: O Goodness infinite, Goodness immense,/ That all this good of
evil shall produce. ..."

In any event I'll read "Lila."


Nancy Charlton

On Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 3:38 PM, Horace Jeffery Hodges <
horacejeffery at gmail.com> wrote:

> Wyatt Mason interviews Marilynne Robinson and reports back in "The
> Revelations of Marilynne Robinson" (*NYT*, October 1, 2014), in which
> there is a brief allusion to Milton:
> The drama of how a human mind can become an inhospitable home to its owner
> is old and well documented. “The mind is its own place,” Milton gives Satan
> to say in “Paradise Lost,” “and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell
> of heaven.” But in Robinson’s new novel, that drama is renewed, Robinson
> managing her most daring, as she would put it, testimony. If, in “Gilead,”
> Lila is mentioned by name only once by her reverend husband, the
> 77-year-old John Ames, in “Lila,” we now hear from the woman herself.
> This seems to be Mason's musing, but he applies it to Robinson's writing
> in her recent novel, *Lila*.
> Jeffery Hodges
> Ewha Womans University
> Seoul, South Korea
> Novella: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E18KW0K (*The Bottomless Bottle of
> Beer*)
> Facebook:
> https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Bottomless-Bottle-of-Beer/204064649770035
>  (*The Bottomless Bottle of Beer*)
> Blog: http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/ (*Gypsy Scholar*)
> Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in the Gospel of John and Gnostic
> Texts"
> Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
> M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
> B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University
> Home Address:
> Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
> Gunyoung Apt. 102-204
> Bonghwasan-ro 48-gil 62
> Jungnang-gu
> Seoul 131-771
> South Korea
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