[Milton-L] presentism?

Crystal L Bartolovich clbartol at syr.edu
Fri Aug 3 03:04:47 EDT 2018

Brendan, et al,

Of course Milton was a presentist (small p), in the general sense that 1) he knew that he lived in a historical present that was different from earlier times and 2) he knew that this had implications for interpretation of scriptures and everything else: " Truth is compar'd in Scripture to a streaming fountain; if her waters flow not in a perpetuall progression, they sick'n into a muddy pool of conformity and tradition."  

On several occasions I have been distressed by the assumption of some that their own personal interpretation of what "belongs" on this list is obviously correct.  Not so!  If posts are of no interest to you don't read them!  Other folks "might perhaps have read them in some sort usefully," as Milton put it. I myself was very interested in the 3d gun "printing" post and it gave me a new problem to think about with Areopagitica, a living document not a "muddy pool of conformity and tradition."  I wrote about Milton's texts as "living" in a PMLA article in 2012.   I am looking forward to teaching the 3D printing issue!  

This is not to say that anything goes on any list; in the unlikely event that folks start posting cars for sale or best recipes for chocolate cake, or are personally abusive, collectively we might determine that such discussions do not belong here, but most of the items objected to are "political" in nature, not truly off topic in any absolute sense.  Please: just hit delete if you don't like them!   

-- Crystal Bartolovich
Associate Professor of English
Syracuse University

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