Paradise Lost: "Fruit Uncropt and Fruit Cropt"
Yesterday, I was pleased to see that the Saturday mail service here in Seoul (actual delivery on Saturdays?) had brought my copy of the Milton Quarterly. I don't really have a subscription, but I was expecting to receive a copy because I've had an article published in it, "Fruit Uncropt and Fruit Cropt: Unnoticed Wordplay in Paradise Lost?" (Milton Quarterly, Volume 45, Number Four, December 2011, pages 252-257). Here's the opening paragraph:
In Paradise Lost 4.724-35, Adam and Eve together praise the creator for their happy love and his abundant blessings, which include the gift of trees bearing fruit that "uncropt falls to the ground" (4.731), and the innocent pair request offspring to share that fruitful abundance. Ostensibly in tension with this are the words of Eve in Book 9, for she there remarks on the many trees with "Fruit untoucht, / Still hanging incorruptible" (621-22), awaiting the hands of offspring yet unborn. The apparent contradiction between the words implying that unplucked fruit falls to the ground from the trees of paradise and that unplucked fruit hangs potentially forever on the boughs of those same trees also serves to bring into focus another apparent contradiction. In the prelapsarian garden, into which death has not yet entered, why should any fruit fall to the ground? Would that not imply death and decay? And what of the plucked fruit's uneaten portions? Are these tossed onto some prelapsarian 'compost' heap? Let us investigate this complex issue. (page 252)If that interests you -- and it probably does not -- then rush over to the Wiley-Blackwell Website and order a copy! Some folks will be interested, I reckon, since the scholar Gordon Campbell, who edits Renaissance Studies, says, "If you want to publish to be READ, write for the Milton Quarterly." At the very least, I suppose Professor Campbell will read my article.
But even if not, I'm enjoying the rare pleasure of publishing an article in what is arguably the top Milton journal in the world.