[Milton-L] Fwd: The Common Good??

Jameela Lares jameela.lares at usm.edu
Sat Oct 4 11:26:15 EDT 2014


You make me wonder if the definition of a classic work of literature should include the notion that it is always somehow current, but I imagine that this has been said, and even said by Miltonists.  


Jameela Lares
Professor of English
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, #5037
Hattiesburg, MS  39406-0001
601 266-4319 ofc
601 266-5757 fax
From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] on behalf of Stella Revard [srevard at siue.edu]
Sent: Saturday, October 04, 2014 10:08 AM
To: John Milton Discussion List
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Fwd:  The Common Good??

Many thanks, David; it's an excellent book.  And on behalf of Matt's political citations, the book (and any Milton bio) makes clear that from Milton's childhood on his idea of poetry and true poet was what we surely must call "political"--he aspired to sing for the nation, not just to entertain and delight but to lead and guide.  Everyone on the list knows this, and royalist-favoring critics  certainly "bring in" and voice political views in books and essays cited and discussed on the Milton List.  I think what you refer to, though, is contemporary British political people and policies and events.

The book for which you very helpfully provided a link shows, among other things, how one of Milton's teachers, the junior Gill, got into hot water over political matters (Buckingham and James) and was punished by Laud. So, thoroughly Miltonic, highly political, and easy to link up with 2014 British stuff, or American, etc. etc.  Still, I agree that this can degenerate quickly into tweety/ranty/bloggy stuff and for the List it is better to focus on 17C politics, always aware that poets--Milton, Shakespeare, Jonson, Dryden for instance--"apply" to events and history in any age including our own:  just about any performance of Macbeth in the later 20th and early 21st centuries can illustrate that, and in the debates over Samson Agonistes John Carey and many others referenced Israel and Palestine....

More information about the Milton-L mailing list