Here he is again, and he seems so obscure today
I’m trying to get a glance at Northrop Frye who Bloom referred to as the foremost living student of western literature.
If you saw some of the stuff I constantly find on z-library accidentally, you’d really wonder what woman’s id is like
They act so civilized in public.
Anyway at the moment I thirst for galaxybrain takes on Milton, and I hear that Frye has some of those.
I feel like more of a religious person after getting a better understanding of Dante. Theology just can’t do that for me. Neither can philosophy. Remember here we’re speaking of writers in the same league as “J” if not beyond him. They were born later and were able to learn from him, so why couldn’t they be beyond him?
Pound saw high culture as a system in which the influence of writers and artists upon each other is comparable to a system of flowing electric currents.
We plebs need “priests” to help us interpret these “Bibles” – call me a Catholic in regard to literature then.
The same people who despise the left for hating “dead white male” writers tend to be the same ones who haven’t much of a clue what those writers really meant in their writing.
I’m trying to emerge from my shell myself so I can’t really criticize others- I’m trying to find wisdom outside of philosophy and stop being so biased toward it. And I retain my own direct interests simultaneously with that. For instance, in Strauss’s History of Political Philosophy there is, counter-intuitively, an essay on Milton, the only poet included among 40 other writers.
The Bible doesn’t do this for me, and I wish it could
Milton, the agent of the Word of God, is trying to awaken with his words a vision in us which is, in his own language, the Word of God in the heart.
Milton (1608-1674) by the way. I know what this is about because without scholars who were closer to my own time I doubt I’d ever have been able to understand the 19th century thinker neech. Ah so he wrote around Cromwell’s time – good to know the political context. And only lived a couple generations after the onset of the Protestantisms. How will people describe the time we live in now? A couple generations after the onset of the secularisms?
Kind of funny that you won’t learn from hermeneuticists to “read scholars”. That’s the best advice you can get.
I was just thinking about this!
what Milton means by revelation is a consolidated, coherent, encyclopedic view of human life which defines, among other things, the function of poetry.
Except regarding philosophy instead of poetry. If “we” can’t understand revelation in our time then we need poets to help us. And it’s possible that we can’t even understand philosophy without understanding revelation. Crossovers toward the Ultimate Wisdom.
Note about the quote above also- similar with scholars not talking about scholars, poets tend to be too busy being poets to talk about what they’re doing with their poetry.
One could look at revelation as the diametrical opposite of gossip. It’s about the highest, most important things, about What Reality Really Is. And we don’t really have that today. Science has that authority, the problem is that science doesn’t talk about the weightiest concerns of the soul. That’s why you find so much chatter, because there’s no Ultimate Truth to reference. In other words, everything is chatter so one might as well chatter. No, philosophy and poetry while not being as authoritative as revelation, are higher than chatter, at least when they’re doing what they’re supposed to do.
Frye distinguishes artists as either revolutionary or conservative, Milton for him being the former
artists as either ground-breakers or form-perfecters
So if you don’t read (and understand) him, and only Homer, say, then you’re living with a pre-Miltonian consciousness from the 1600s one could say
Milton’s Christian epics and tragedy revise Classical models of heroism, relegating the latter to objects of parody.
A further spin
Frye often understands and describes the poetry of both Milton and Blake in terms he has learned from Blake himself.
Blake (1757-1827). It’s a conversation between texts. We’re conversing with Frye now, and I’m reading him in part with what Bloom who wrote after him had to say about all this. If you’re not part of the conversation you’re one of the great many plebs who understand nothing and still try to talk like their opinions matter. Don’t worry, everyone is a pleb next to these types of poets and critics in question. Do you want to live in an aristocratic regime within this dreary democratic one? This is how one can strive toward that ideal.
Ah I just realized Milton was a contemporary of Hobbes. See, I’m not content remaining in “my” discipline. I want a more thorough canon. I confess it- I want to see the world the way God sees the world.
Poets, for Milton, were following in the tradition of the apostles. We all know about the Gospel of Thomas. We don’t tend to look at, say, Dante’s writings that way. The truth is, they’re probably better than anything one finds in the Bible.
Ah this is so true
none can love freedom heartilie, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but licence.
Much of the rabble is like that all day every day, and they’d truly be better off without so much freedom. And they’d never give it up, because they believe themselves to be “good”.
This is how I see frogs, if in a secular way
The censor is the agent of the bondage of the moral law; his function is to ensure that man will hear only what he already knows. This means that he will never hear the revelation of God, which is always foreign to man’s nature in every age, and always sounds disturbingly new and dangerous.
Hostility to that is clearly timeless. Society will only suffer if the silencings continue.
This is something to admire about many of the greats, which you don’t find with the “quotidian individuals” of today
those moments in which he looks over the head of the immediate situation to a greater vision beyond it.