Archive for May 13th, 2013

Miltonic Regression

John Milton’s Paradise Lost is the greatest work ever written in the English language. It might easily seem absurd, therefore, to spend time justifying its importance, especially when the question of justification is this work’s own most explicit topic, tested at the edge of impossibility, where the entire poem is drawn. Perhaps it makes more sense, preliminarily, to narrow our ambition, seeking only to justify the words of Milton to modern men, especially to those for whom modernity has become a distressing cultural problem.

In regards to what is today called the Cathedral, Milton is both disease and cure. Both simultaneously, cryptically entangled, complicated by strange collisions, opening multitudinous, obscure paths.

As the most articulate anglophone voice of revolutionary Puritanism, he arrives amongst Carlyleans in the mask of “the Arch-Enemy” (I:81) and “Author of Evil” (VI:262): a scourge of clerical and monarchical authority, a pamphleteer in defense of regicide and the liberalization of divorce, an Arian, and a Roundhead of truly Euclidean spheritude.

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May 13, 2013admin 146 Comments »
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