[Milton-L] response to Richard Strier, et al, on Greenblatt

Margie mthickst at hamilton.edu
Wed Sep 16 19:40:04 EDT 2015


I use reading aloud activities (and group oral exams) to teach PL. Anyone coming to Murfreesboro can hear all about it. Anyone not coming who's interested should just contact me.
 --Margie 
(Crystal--I'm just down the Thruway!)

Sent from my iPad

> On Sep 16, 2015, at 7:26 PM, Matthew Jordan <matthewjorda at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> I - and as far as I'm aware, my co-students - certainly read PL on our own, in the 80s. I was advised to read it aloud; the first go took much of two days. That's not to say that I read it with Empsonian rigour or inventiveness...
> 
> Then again, I may have had a head start: my Dad did once come home from work to find me and a couple of friends from Nursery School gazing wrapt at my Mum, in Oxford cap and gown, distracting herself from the tedium of child-minding by teaching us a class on Milton - or at least, reading aloud from him....
> 
> Best, Matt
> 
>> On 16 September 2015 at 22:21, Richard A. Strier <rastrier at uchicago.edu> wrote:
>> Thanks for the comment and history, but I am skeptical about one claim.  I do not believe that your students in the '80's actually could read PL on their own, with no help except historical and critical contextualization.  Maybe they were better at faking it, but the poem is not easy, on first acquaintance, for ANYONE to read.  So again -- though I may indeed be mistaken -- think that the contrast is being overdrawn.
>> 
>> RS
>> 
>> ________________________________________
>> From: milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu [milton-l-bounces at lists.richmond.edu] on behalf of Crystal L Bartolovich [clbartol at syr.edu]
>> Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 2015 12:20 PM
>> To: milton-l at lists.richmond.edu
>> Subject: [Milton-L] response to Richard Strier, et al, on Greenblatt
>> 
>> Totally agree with Richard that Greenblatt appears to give up too easily
>> in that piece.
>> 
>> But, on the other hand, I must admit that I have had to shift the teaching
>> of my upper division Milton class considerably over the years. When I
>> first started teaching as a grad student in the 1980s, I could presume
>> that most students could get Shakespeare AND Milton on their own and so I
>> spent class time only on broader critical and historical issues.  I
>> definitely cannot make that assumption with Milton now or an alarming
>> number of students would fail.
>> 
>> Even honors students truly cannot read Milton at first AT ALL.  So, at the
>> beginning of the term, I have to have the students read a few lines out
>> loud and venture to say what they mean‹ every student, in turn, in every
>> class.  THIS IS REALLY REALLY HARD for my students (who are not U Chicago
>> undergrads, admittedly) to do, but between this rigorous in-class work,
>> and ample paraphrasing homework, most of them DO get it, and we can spend
>> time on more sophisticated questions of interpretation.
>> 
>> But some of them require very considerable coaching during office hours
>> until the very end, and a few fail.  So I don¹t think that the diagnosis
>> of less verbal facility is false, but rather that there are antidotes
>> other than throwing in the towel and letting them make films or
>> whatever‹and that those other remedies are more valuable.
>> 
>> By far I get the most notes of appreciation from Milton students, saying
>> how proud they are that they stuck the course out and how much they
>> learned.
>> 
>> 
>> _______________________________________________
>> 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/20150916/0e29f250/attachment.html>


More information about the Milton-L mailing list