Saturday, 3 December 2016

John Milton

Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
The little tyrant of his fields withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood. 
-copied from here

I quote this stanza because SM Stirling quotes "mute inglorious Milton" on p. 382 of On The Oceans Of Eternity (New York, 2000).

We have quoted Milton on the blog, in particular comparing his ideas of demons, Hell and Chaos with those of Poul Anderson. Milton's theological trilogy retells the Biblical narrative in Classical literary forms whereas Anderson's History of Technic Civilization is a science fiction future history, recounting not what God has done but what mankind will do.

3 comments:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I have read Milton's PARADISE LOST and PARADISE REGAINED. But, alas, I've found Milton's poetry too ponderous, heavy, and tedious. It was a hard struggle for me to read PARADISE LOST even once, and I gave up rereading it a second time after five books. My loss, I'm sure, for being unable to appreciate Milton.

    Oliver Cromwell? Pppfffuuiii!!! He and Henry VIII are my LEAST favorite or admired British rulers.

    Sean

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    Replies
    1. Sean,
      I think it is generally acknowledged that the literary merit of PARADISE LOST lies entirely in the first four or so books.
      Paul.

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    2. Kaor, Paul!

      I think I remember the bits I liked best in PL were in those books.

      By, contrast, I love Dante's DIVINE COMEDY. He really knew how to tell a long story in poetry! I have no less than three different translations of his COMEDY. And I've also read the known surviving letters of Dante, his DE MONARCHIA, and LA VITA NUOVA.

      Sean

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