Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Celebrating John Milton's 400th Birthday!

John Milton, Englishman and Poet
On Exhibit at Williamsburg Art & Historical Center
(Image from WAHCenter)

I received a notice of an update from the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center (WAHCenter) concerning its plans for celebrating John Milton's 400th Birthday and honoring "Paradise Lost, the greatest poem in the English language" -- which I take to be the words of the Show Director Terrance Lindall, who also happens to be an artist, a curator, and an intellectual.

The WAHCenter's Milton celebrations will carry on from September 27th to November 2nd of this year (2008), beginning with the Opening Reception of its Grand Paradise Lost Costume Ball, which will take place on Saturday, September 27th, from 8 p.m. to midnight.

Unfortunately, I won't be in New York City this fall or early winter, but I've advised my NYC friend and connoisseur of art, Malcolm Pollack, to take his wife and attend the costume ball dressed "as a character and daemon from Philip Pullman's series, His Dark Materials." Malcolm and his wife can work out which of them is the character and which the daemon, but either way -- as I also told Malcolm -- "the [Pullman] series is loosely based on Paradise Lost, [so] the costumes would be perfect."

Incidentally, while I cannot make the celebrations, I shall be there in spirit, for I am already making a ghostly visitation online at the WAHCenter as a disembodied 'voice' among the scholars expressing praise for the choice of a Lindall painting depicting a scene from Paradise Lost to appear on the cover of Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton, Random House 2008, a tome edited by Milton experts William Kerrigan, John Rumrich, and Stephen M. Fallon.

Anyway, direct from the WAHCenter's website, here's my disembodied remark:
"Appropriately for his background in art and philosophy, Lindall seems especially interested in using art to express ideas, which makes his work particularly intriguing for Milton scholars, for he has painted a number of works depicting scenes in Paradise Lost" -- Horace Jeffery Hodges, Assistant Professor in Kyung Hee University's Dept. of English Language and Literature
I think that we can safely identify this as my "15 Minutes of Fame."

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At 12:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello! I am Matthew Skenandore, your friend informed me of your work regarding the celebration of John Milton's epic Paradise Lost, and career. I have jpegs of my 13 illustrations (12 chapters and prelude) would you be interested in viewing them? I can be contacted at

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Mattthew, I'll alert Terrance Lindall to this comment. He did look at your work previously and emailed me to say that you are a "very interesting artist."

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 9:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Jeffrey, and Terrence.
It's great to meet fellow Miltonauts.

At 9:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And good luck! With the celebrations,
I know it will exceed your expectations.

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Mattthew, I'll let Terrance Lindall know of your wishes for the success of his Milton Bash. He's probably contacted you by now, however.

Since you're interested in Milton, you might want to search my blog for information on "John Basinger," who has memorized all of Paradise Lost and has performed it. His 2001 performance is even available on DVD. I've linked to his website via my blog.

By the way, note the unusual spelling of my name: "Jeffery."

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems heterographry is alive and well Jeffery. Noted. Mattthew the third t is silent and the q is invisible.

At 2:12 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I hadn't previously noticed the invisible "q," but I'll be sure to include it in future spellings, e.g., "Mattthew." There, I managed that quirky "q" -- and I apologize for previous misspellings lacking that invisible letter.

But . . . did I put the "q" in the right place?

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 12:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How should I know? ;)

At 5:12 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Good point. Being invisible, it wouldn't be 'checkable'.

I put it before the "h" -- was that correct?

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes! That is where this invisible character generally places that invisible character.

At 3:20 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Good, I like being right in orthography, especially of the heterographic sort.

Jeffery Hodges

* * *


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