First published in 1987. Passionately praised and equally passionately criticised by contemporary and later writers, the figure of Milton inherited by the twentieth century is by no means unified, despite the appearance of monumental unity his work sometimes acquires in the classroom and in academic criticism.
This collection of essays gathers together disparate and often conflicting representations of Milton as author and cultural figure. Critics familiar with the traditions of Milton scholarship and with debates in literary theory reconstruct Milton from evidence provided by his own prose and poetry, by his contemporaries (including some little-known women writers), by Romantics such as Blake and Wordsworth, and, finally, by a tradition of Afro-American writing that reflects Milton's influence in ways previously unexamined by critics. The process of reconstruction can also be seen as a process of "re-membering." The volume draws inspiration from, but also interrogates, the figure used in Areopagita to describe the quest for truth. Likening Truth to the dismembered body of Osiris, Milton urges Truth's friends to seek up and down, gathering "limb by limb" the body scattered through time and space.
Re-membering Milton includes work by established critics from both sides of the Atlantic. Together these contributors place Milton and different Milton traditions firmly within the arenas of modem critical debate. As a result, the collection will be of interest to a wide range of readers: scholars concerned with Milton and Renaissance literature and history; advanced undergraduates and graduate students; researchers in women’s studies; and all readers generally concerned with trends in literary and cultural theory.
Table of Contents
Notes on Contributors; Preface; Acknowledgements; Part One: The Author Function; 1. The Great lnstauration: Imaginary Narratives in Milton’s "Nativity Ode" Richard Halpern 2. Two Masques of Ceres and Proserpine: "Camus" and "The Tempest" Mary Loeffelholz 3. Milton and Sexuality: A Symptomatic Reading of "Camus" Christopher Kendrick 4. The Author’s Authority: "Areopagitica" and the Labour of Licensing Abbie Blum; Part Two: Texts in their Contemporary Contexts; 5. The Genesis of Gendered Subjectivity in the Divorce Tracts and in "Paradise Lost" Mary Nyquist 6. David’s Census: Milton’s Politics and "Paradise Regained" David Quint 7. The Father’s House: "Samson Agonistes" in its Historical Moment John Guillory; Part Three: The Written Word; 8. Milton’s Graphic Poetics Richard Bradford 9. Melos versus Logos or Why Doesn’t God Sing: Some Thoughts on Milton’s Wisdom Eleanor Cook 10. The Blotted Book Herbert Marks 11. Driving from the Letter: Truth and Indeterminacy in Milton’s "Areopagitica" Stanley Fish; Part Four: Re-memberings; 12. Blake’s "Milton": On Membership in the Church Paul David Reide 13. Milton and Afro-American Literature Carolivia Herron 14. Love between Milton and Wordsworth Robin Jarvis 15. Satan and the Romantic Satan: A Notebook Kenneth Gross 16. The God that Failed Terry Eagleton; Index