Sunday, August 17, 2008

Terrance Lindall and the Upcoming Milton Bash

John Milton (Engraving, 1741)
(Image Courtesy of Terrance Lindall, WAHCenter)

I seem to be receiving a lot of Milton-related emails these days. Yesterday saw the actor and performance artist John Basinger contacting me about my blog on his Milton recitation, and today sees the surrealist artist and WAHCenter director Terrance Lindall contacting me about his upcoming Milton celebration.
Hi Jeffery:

Yes, I follow your blogs and Matthew is a very interesting artist.
That would be the artist Mattthew Skenandore, whose Paradise Lost work I noted a few blogdays ago.
Things are going well for the Paradise Lost event. Everything is together. Now if I can only sell tickets!
This, of course, refers to the upcoming Milton celebration at the WAHCenter, which I've previously blogged about.
I did exchange emails with Prof. Fallon. He may be able to come next year to my annual PL event and talk. I appreciate his thesis, "Milton is NOT a religious writer." He is expounding at the University of Queensland in August 2008. If you are in the USA in May 2009, get in touch. I expect to have a few scholars on hand for the program.

I notice that Prof. Rumrich is lecturing "down under" too.
Professors Fallon and Rumrich are two of the three scholars (the third being William Kerrigan) who have edited a recently published book, The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, that has an illustration from Lindall's Paradise Lost series on its cover. Fallon and Rumrich are, apparently, lecturing in Australia this month. The annual Paradise Lost event that Lindall refers to is a yearly gathering at the WAHCenter of Milton experts and others who give talks on themes related to Milton. Lindall is graciously extending me an invitation because he's under the illusion that I actually have some expertise on Milton. I suspect that he'd be exceedingly disappointed if I actually did show up, for I'd likely manage to reveal little more about Milton than my own stark ineptitude as a putative Milton expert.
Attached is my 6 X 9 postcard which has just been printed. I credited you along with other scholars and institutions who have endorsed my work on bringing Milton into contemporary public life. When I get a chance I have to do my own writing on Milton. If the Midwestern College that expressed interest in my project takes up the cause, I will do so.
Lindall -- for those new to these posts on him and his work -- is not only an artist and art director but also an intellectual who has done doctoral work in philosophy. I'm not sure if he's considering finishing a doctoral thesis or simply pursuing some research interests on Milton.

The postcard referred to is a PDF attachment, so I cannot post it here, but the portrait referred to next is reproduced above:
I just acquired a beautiful portrait of Milton: Collection of the Right Honorable Arthur Onslow. Speaker of the House of Commonses. Impensis I.& P. Knapton Londini. 1741. Engraved in Amsterdam, 1741 Houbraken.
After which, Lindall closes:
All Hail Milton!!!

Yours Truly,

Terrance Lindall
I can honestly say that when I started this little blog -- and it remains a minor one in the blogosphere -- I never expected my posts to get attention from such interesting and prominent people as Terrance Lindall or John Basinger.

Blogging does have its rewards.

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At 10:30 AM, Anonymous Michael Bauman said...

John Rumrich was my dissertation mentor at Fordham, where I wrote on Milton's Arianism many years ago. He is fine scholar, a good friend, and an excellent teacher. Fallon too is a fine Miltonist, though I don't know what he means by saying Milton was not a religious writer. Whatever it means, I suspect it will an interesting read.

I think that Kerrigan was Rumrich's diss. mentor. I'm afraid I remain unconvinced by his penchant for Freudian interpretation. I have responded to it here:

At 2:22 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Michael, thanks for visiting again. Your absence has been felt.

I must have read your contra-Freudian critique, for I remember it. When I was a teenager, I was enthralled by Freud, but I've long come to reject his system. I still find Freud fascinating . . . but I don't much bother reading Freudian analyses. Most are stale and predictable . . . except for when they're irrational.

On Fallon's meaning, I'm not entirely sure either -- even though I searched the internet to find out. He seems to have meant that most of what Milton wrote was secular and political, and that only in later life did Milton begin to become a religious writer.

I suspect that he's working with some precisely if narrowly constrained definitions of these categories. Still, I'm sure that you're correct, namely, that Fallon's view will make for an interesting read.

Rumrich seems like an excellent fellow. He's even occasionally contacted me offline from the Milton List to offer encouragement.

And, of course, a certain Michael Bauman seems like a jolly fine fellow as well...

Jeffery Hodges

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