[Milton-L] Appropriation of Areopagitica

Kemmer Anderson kanderso at mccallie.org
Thu Aug 2 19:29:01 EDT 2018


Beautiful internal rhymes and sounds wrapped in Milton's prophetic horror
molded into the poem. I hear the music inside these lines not martial but
moving the ordinance of the poem to the front of our eyes. Thanks, John.
Kemmer Anderson

On Thu, Aug 2, 2018 at 1:02 PM, John Leonard <jleonard at uwo.ca> wrote:

> The inventor of the 3D printed gun might also ponder these words from book
> six of Paradise Lost:
>
>
>
>
> The invention all admired, and each how he
> To be the inventor missed; so easy it seemed,
> Once found, which yet unfound most would have thought *        500*
> Impossible: yet, haply, of thy race,
> In future days, if malice should abound,
> Some one, intent on mischief, or inspired
> With devilish machination, might devise
> Like instrument to plague the sons of men *        505*
> For sin, on war and mutual slaughter bent.
>
> ------------------------------
> *From:* milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu <milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu> on
> behalf of Carol Barton, PhD, CPCM <cbartonphd1 at verizon.net>
> *Sent:* August 2, 2018 1:50:28 PM
> *To:* milton-l at richmond.edu
> *Subject:* Re: [Milton-L] Appropriation of Areopagitica
>
> Which just goes to prove that even lunatics (mis)read Milton, Kevin.
> Except, perhaps, when a massive tome has been catapulted at someone’s head,
> no book has ever been used to commit murder; and Milton’s stance on
> pre-publication censorship at a time when most idiots like Wilson couldn’t
> read was contingent upon the moral character and intelligence of the
> consumer, who, he was sure, would self-censor anything that was
> objectionable—not on the warped value systems of homicidal lunatics and
> terrorists who will jump at the chance to produce untraceable weapons. The
> most ludicrous argument of all is the one that says “3-D printers are
> expensive”—as if that ever stopped the mob, or the terrorists. “Spiritual
> analogue” indeed: we know what abiding respect our boy had for the mob.
>
> I’m glad David Harper took Wilson’s psychotic diatribe on, and will be
> interested to see what he has to say. Thanks for letting us know about
> this.
>
> Best to all,
>
> Carol Barton
>
> Carol Barton, PhD, CPCM
>
>
> On Aug 2, 2018, at 1:01 PM, Kevin Donovan <Kevin.Donovan at mtsu.edu> wrote:
>
> Members of this list may be interested to know that the current furore
> over proposals to allow 3D printing of firearms in the U.S. surprisingly
> intersects with Milton studies. David Harper’s essay “The Scanning of
> Error” in the collection *Milton, Materialism, and Embodiment* (Duquesne
> UP, 2017) examines the “political appropriation” of *Areopagitica* in a
> manifesto by the gun activist Cody Wilson, who cited Milton’s tract in
> defense of his disseminating free designs for a fully functional,
> print-at-home gun.  *Areopagitica*’s argument against the law passed in
> 1644 requiring that books be licensed before publication apparently was
> deemed by Wilson to provide an intellectual precedent and justification–or,
> as Wilson called it, a “spiritual analogue”–for his project of facilitating
> “the endless, unregulated production of guns.” Harper demonstrates various
> ways in which Milton’s protest against a particular kind of regulation of
> printed books is ill suited to a defense of unregulated “printing” of
> firearms.
>
> Here’s a link to a description of *Milton, Materialism, and Embodiment* at
> Penn State UP’s website:
> https://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-8207-0702-0.html
>
>
> Kevin J. Donovan
> Professor and Graduate Program Director
> English Department, Peck Hall 316
> Middle Tennessee State University
> MTSU Box 70
> Murfreesboro TN 37132
> Ph: 615-898-2665
>
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