Joined: Jan 2008 Posts: 5546 Location: Berryville, Virginia
Thanks: 1395 Thanked: 1401 times in 1094 posts
Invitation to read Book IX of Paradise Lost
I just wondered who might be interested in reading Book IX. I mean going through it with more thoroughness than we've been using so far, and including not just the few of us that have been reading the whole work. It might be more rewarding to discuss one book at length rather than give it a cursory glance, even if that might mean only glimpsing the anticlimactic books X-XII.
Book IX is where the important action happens, without doubt. Milton tells us in his prologue to the book that the true epic action takes place here. He slights other epics by saying they just tell us battle after battle and not important maters. He may here be reflecting on his own performance in the cartoonish Book VI war in heaven. At any rate, he tells us he's going to recast the epic form as one of psychological action and thematic depth. I believe he does make good on his boast. Book IX is a bravura performance dramatically and artistically. The psychological detail shows his close attention to Shakespeare, and for readers there is throughout an ironic distance between us and the characters that is interesting to note. And whether we are fundamentalist Christians or atheists, I think the drama catches us; we do become invested in the plight of the characters regardless of our acceptance of Christian belief. The book also makes us see the value of having such a myth as the Garden of Eden.
_________________ No, it is impossible; it is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one's existence--that which makes its truth, its meaning--its subtle penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live as we dream--alone.
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot post attachments in this forum
BookTalk.org is a free book discussion group or online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a group. We host live author chats where booktalk members can interact with and interview authors. We give away free books to our members in book giveaway contests. Our booktalks are open to everybody who enjoys talking about books. Our book forums include book reviews, author interviews and book resources for readers and book lovers. Discussing books is our passion. We're a literature forum, or reading forum. Register a free book club account today! Suggest nonfiction and fiction books. Authors and publishers are welcome to advertise their books or ask for an author chat or author interview.