Paradise Lost: Milton Hero

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By Greg Bauder.     Milton is the true hero in Paradise Lost. Milton said his aim to do "things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme" was for one thing to "Justify the ways of God to man." But in saying this, as a man, he was trying to justify the ways of God to himself. That appears to be why Milton, as narrator, is the most powerful and heroic force to be reckoned with in the poem. And while Milton revolutionized poetry by writing his epic in blank verse he also created a type of Monism that was derived from so much erudition, probably from other religions, even Eastern ones, that he ...

March 20, 2011

Essay: Reality as an Unfinished Project: A Re-review of The Famished Road

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By Adnan Mahmutovic Ben Okri, the Nigerian/British writer was crowned with the prestigious Man Booker Prize (the British equivalent of The Pulitzer) in 1991 for his fantastic magical-realist novel, The Famished Road.   And now to something completely different. Conversing with Charlie Rose, Ian McEwan (The Atonement, On Chesil Beach) expressed anxiety about fiction writing after 9/11. Here 9/11 is a symbol for the new types of existential crises in the face of the precarious 21st century world, where global threats (environment, terrorists) shake local neighborhoods. McEwan stressed a new urge for non-fiction and realism, and moderate distaste with fiction, in particular magical realism. I immediately suspect a ...

October 17, 2009

The Agony of Self-Defeat

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By Ash Krafton. What is the sound that one makes at the exact moment she learns she made a tremendously stupid mistake? And how is it spelled?   I’m not talking serious, life-threatening, world-altering mistakes such as “I just blew my house up” or “I think I released a biochemical toxin that will decimate half the state” or “Whoops! That was my boss driving the car who cut me off and received my middle finger in reply and crap, my review is next week.”   Those kinds of mistakes usually result in no uttered sounds at all—only the gravity-well of despair that opens up somewhere below your stomach, one that sucks up life and ...

October 17, 2009