Kolbrener 1997

From Whiki
Revision as of 23:53, 2 June 2011 by Wtrettien (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

trying to reconcile the "warring angels" of Miltonist criticism

"I want to suggest that the discourses present in Milton's work are unassimilable to certain interpretive paradigms of modernity." (5)

"Plainly partiall": the liberal Areopagitica

"for the metaphysical poets, and for Milton, who shared many of their tendencies, individual difference could only come into being as an aspect of similarity: contiguity and continuity emerge at once." (13)
"In a critical history where liberty and authority ... are viewed as irreconcilable opposites, Milton is classed alternatively as jthe voice of individual liberty or of an authoritarian intolerance. But the two Miltons -- the liberal and the authoritarian -- are merely flip-sides of one another." (16)
"private utterance (as that of Isocrates who 'from his private house wrote that discourse' to the Athenian parliament) acquires currency and public authority merely through its articulation." (18)

Areopagitica's publication "enacts ... the very argument that it proposes" (19) -- the "performative aspect of [Milton's] own argument" (19)

Miltons' "ambivalence towards figures of mediation in Areopagitica is an ambivalence towards free choice" (22)

"While others may have seen the emergence of the press in England as creating conditions which, as Smith suggests, 'radically destabilized conceptions of truth, trustworthiness, and authorith,' Milton was able to assimilate such experiences of instability into the very rhetoric of his tract and to that process of closing 'truth to truth'." (24)
"Indeed, for the Milton of Areopagitica, radical liberty and public authority are simultaneously asserted; the conception of agency that emerges in the tract is at once constrained by and constructed through, the language of civic republicanism. This may be to exaggerate Milton's conception of the individual subject as socially mediated (and to understate the remarkable emphasis he placed on individual autonomy) but it will also, I hope, serve as a useful corrective to earlier constructions of the liberal Milton." (27)