[Milton-L] Appropriation of Areopagitica

Watt, James jwatt at butler.edu
Fri Aug 3 16:53:39 EDT 2018


Friends: I am much pleased by the general courtesy of disputants on the list regarding the introduction of current political opinions and beliefs. John and Arlene suggest that such matters are impertinent or superfluous to the Milton listserv.


I disagree with them and not least because J.M. himself seems pertinent on the current direction of politics in America. As he wrote, back in 1660 on the eve of the Restoration, "Certainly then that people must needs be mad or strangely infatuated that build the chief hope of their common happiness or safety on a single person; who, if he happen to be good, can do no more than another man; if to be bad, hath in his hands to do more evil without check than millions of other men." READY & EASY WAY (in Hughes, on p.886)


It is his pertinence as well as his careful reasoning which rewards continual and close reading of his work. That so many wish to turn our attention away from the difficulties and subtleties of understanding in his work in favor of comfortable unanimity, as characterized, for example, by what is. with no sense of irony, "American Exceptionalism, is a measure of how far we have fallen from the establishment of a commonwealth.


We need to be asking why essential things change so little over time and "...this noxious humor of returning to bondage--instilled of late by some decievers, and nourished from bad principles and false apprehensions [persists] among too many of the people"? (Hughes, p.880)


It may be that there are good arguments to be made about 'keeping the peace' in scholarly matters by avoidance of politics.  But I have yet to hear them.


jim watt

________________________________
From: milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu <milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu> on behalf of Jameela Lares <Jameela.Lares at usm.edu>
Sent: Friday, August 3, 2018 4:43:56 AM
To: John Milton Discussion List; Brendan Prawdzik
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Appropriation of Areopagitica


Yes, I too would like to hear more about this disagreement among Miltons.



Jameela Lares, Professor of English

Charles W. Moorman Distinguished Professor, 2017-2019

The University of Southern Mississippi

108 College Drive #5037

Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001



Abusus non tollit usum.







From: milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu <milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu> On Behalf Of Bryson, Michael E
Sent: Thursday, August 2, 2018 11:05 PM
To: Brendan Prawdzik <brendanprawdzik at gmail.com>; John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at richmond.edu>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Appropriation of Areopagitica



Brendan Prawdzik suggests the possibility that the Milton of 1667 (or later) might have disagreements with the Milton of 1644.



Seems reasonable to me. But what differences? That's the interesting part.



Michael Bryson

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3383-8101

Love and its Critics: From the Song of Songs to Shakespeare and Milton’s Eden (Cambridge: Open Book, 2017)

https://www.openbookpublishers.com/product/611
https://youtu.be/gx725xGEvbc (The argument of the book

https://amazon.com/author/michaelbryson





------ Original message------

From: Brendan Prawdzik

Date: Thu, Aug 2, 2018 8:54 PM

To: John Milton Discussion List;

Cc:

Subject:Re: [Milton-L] Appropriation of Areopagitica



I'm wary of presentism and often position myself against it.  But Jim clearly aligns himself with a type of presentism, and I respect where he's coming from.  I recognize that academia includes strident voices for presentism, often to an effect that bends the literature to the detriment of its credibility and cultural survival.  Nonetheless, there is a discussion that is going on, even if there might be a post or two that one can easily leap over with one's eyes.  I don't think that anyone has crossed bounds of decorum, given that this is an academic listserv.  I would encourage Arlene to contribute meaningfully and not purely negatively, and I would encourage Salwa that voting "support" for a position against making a congenial aside about voting (not about Milton) is counter-to-purpose.



Brendan



ps ... Was Milton a presentist?



On Thu, Aug 2, 2018 at 9:31 PM, Salwa <skhoddam at cox.net<mailto:skhoddam at cox.net>> wrote:

I support Arlene.

Salwa



Salwa Khoddam, PhD.

Professor of English, Emerita

Oklahoma City University

4436 NW 60th Place

OKC, OK 73112

Phone: 405-942-3801



From: milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu> [mailto:milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l-bounces at richmond.edu>] On Behalf Of Arlene Stiebel
Sent: Thursday, August 2, 2018 9:23 PM
To: John Milton Discussion List <milton-l at richmond.edu<mailto:milton-l at richmond.edu>>
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Appropriation of Areopagitica



"Bern baby Bern" is not about the GOP.  Nor guns.



Will the Moderator please step in?



On Aug 2, 2018, at 7:18 PM, James Rovira <jamesrovira at gmail.com<mailto:jamesrovira at gmail.com>> wrote:



I think we should keep in mind that the topic came up because of its connection to Milton, who was consummately political in ways that still (obviously) matter today. I think the question of what Milton might think about gun control with knowledge of our current kinds of guns and what has been done with them is an interesting one. If we apply his principles of freedom of speech and of the press in Areopagitica to gun control, he would want the issue subject to vigorous debate in public, and he wouldn't think twice about banning guns, or any kind of guns, if that was the conclusion that our reason and morality led to -- just as he was willing to burn books after they've been read and discussed if they were unlicensed and the authors were not identified, but the books themselves were found to be "mischievous":



"And as for regulating the Presse, let no man think to have the honour of advising ye better then your selves have done in that Order publisht next before this, that no book be Printed, unlesse the Printers and the Authors name, or at least the Printers be register'd. Those which otherwise come forth, if they be found mischievous and libellous, the fire and the executioner will be the timeliest and the most effectuall remedy, that mans prevention can use."



If I offended you by pointing out fault for the murderous, profit-driven, inhumane and criminal stance of the GOP on gun control, you have a problem.



I've had my say about the topic, though.



Jim R



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--

Dr. Brendan Prawdzik


BA Rutgers University, 2001

PhD The University of California, Berkeley, 2009
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