To Repair the Ruins
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Duquesne University Press
Title Page, Copyright
List of Illustrations
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We are grateful to Charles Durham, Kristin Pruitt, and Kevin Donovan for organizing the biannual Conference on John Milton in 2009 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, from which all of the essays in To Repair the Ruins: Reading Milton originated as presentations. The conference...
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To Repair the Ruins: Reading Milton presents essays united by their participation in the recent revival among scholars and critics with an interest in close reading — historically and theoretically informed attention to Milton’s poetic and rhetorical style — and in the history...
Part One: Recovering Milton’s Poetics
1. Lord Monboddo, Close Reading, and “Density of Sense” in Paradise Lost
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The Milton Society of America is the mildest of academic communities, and its annual meeting at the MLA convention is usually the most convivial of social and scholarly occasions. But a different mood prevailed at the Hotel Statler in New York City on Thursday, December...
2. Milton’s Pagan Counterpoetic: Eros and Inspiration in Elegy 5
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Stanley Fish’s challenge — “It’s the poetry, stupid” — prompts us to delve into the neglected treasure trove of Milton’s Latin poems, not just as supplements to the English poems providing discursive and thematic readings of them, or as supplements to our readings of...
3. Milton’s Empyreal Conceit
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Andrew Marvell, like Plato in the epigraph above, worried that a particular kind of poesis might compete with philosophy, especially that kind of philosophy concerned with the discursive expression of sacred truths: theology. The object of Marvell’s worry, of course, was...
Part Two: Rereading the Inner Landscape
4. Reading, Recognition, Learning, and Love in Paradise Regained
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Paradise Regained is a poem about how we learn, and do not learn, through reading. The poem asks us to consider what we are doing when we read. Nowhere is this question asked more pointedly than in the Son’s repeated comments on the activity and purpose of...
5. Paradise Regained in the Closet: Private Piety in the Brief Epic
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Critics have long wondered why Milton, in Paradise Regained, focused on Jesus’ interlude in the desert with its quiescent mood as opposed to a more dazzling episode in the remarkable history of the Son of God incarnate. I suggest that the answer may be sought and found...
6. Restoration Dissent, Conscience, and the Paradise Within in Paradise Lost
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On August 17, 1662, Presbyterian minister Edmund Calamy preached at Saint Mary Aldermanbury that the straits to which martyrs were driven “for God and a good Conscience” were “so sweetned to them by the consolations and supportations of God’s spirit” that...
Part Three: Recovering Ruins
7. Milton’s Genii Loci and the Medieval Saints
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Milton seems to have been fascinated by the idea that physical places on earth could be inhabited by their own indwelling spirits or genii loci, tutelary spirits who protected those places and willingly extended assistance to supplicant mortals. Milton expresses this...
8. David and Charles, Laud and Satan: The Two-Handed Engine of 1 Chronicles 21
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When Milton was composing Lycidas in the autumn of 1637, the sensational trial and public punishment of the arch-Puritans Dr. John Bastwick, the Reverend Henry Burton, and Mr. William Prynne had lately taken place in London. On June 14, 1637, they were brought into...
9. Unruly Daughter, Virtuous Wife: The Double Subject and Double Occasion of Milton’s Sonnet 9
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This poem, unlike the Italian sonnets that precede it, is Petrarchan only in form. Milton had portrayed himself as a lover in his Italian sonnets, and then had used Petrarchan form in two very different poems about his personal crisis (Sonnet 7) and a political...
Part Four: Reception, Ruin, and Repair
10. Milton, Cromwell, and Napoleon in Chateaubriand and Hugo
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Like Milton, Chateaubriand (1768–1848) and Victor Hugo (1802– 85) responded passionately to an age of revolution. Although both Chateaubriand and Hugo lived through several revolutions, those that cast the longest shadow over the nineteenth century were the French...
11. The Fate of Place in Paradise Lost: Three Artists Reading Milton
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“In the era that stretches from Aristotle to Newton,” writes Edward Casey in The Fate of Place, “place lost out to space” — giving rise to a literature that is distinctly early modern. No major work from the period responds more fully to this conceptual...
12. Education as Repair: Paradise Lost in Prison
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In Of Education, Milton not only claims that learning will “make many . . . renowned and matchlesse men,” and that it will “fetch . . . out” any “secret excellence” hidden in students, he even goes so far as to claim that “the end then of learning is to repair the ruins...
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About the Contributors
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Page Count: 448
Illustrations: 29 artwork reproductions
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Medieval & Renaissance Literary Studies
Series Editor Byline: Rebecca Totaro