Monday, January 13, 2014

The Peach as Forbidden Fruit?

Foreboding, Not Forbidden?
Upright Brewing

Yesterday, I posted a link on the Milton List to the above image, labeling it "A Twist on the Eve Motif?" I wrote:
Eve clothed (sort of) and just biting [into] a peach from which music winds serpentine up into the nearby peach tree . . .
One scholar suggested:
If Eve were wearing a slip, it probably wouldn't so tatty!
I posted a rejoinder:
Anyone can slip up now and then . . .
Another scholar wondered if the fruit was really a peach:
I'm not so sure those are peaches, either--they look more like little pumpkins (which, granted, don't grow on trees)--but then, violins wouldn't have been lying in the grass, either--not even broken ones. And Eve wouldn't have looked so common before she bit into the Fruit.

All in all, pretty bizarre.
I rather agreed:
The fruit does look odd, but I checked and made sure that they are peaches.
Another scholar liked the idea of peaches:
Peaches always seem right to me. Apples have settled in as the traditional interpretation, but as many of you likely know there were other candidates among early exegetes, including grapes. There's something cheeky about a peach, though, with that little cleft and all that fuzziness. The taste is also something to die for.
That one, perhaps, prompted Salwa Khoddam to post on our work together:
Jeffrey and I have already written a paper on the apple/peach image as used by Milton, Marvell, and T. S. Eliot. It includes all the motifs and related fruits that you mention. We have submitted our paper for publication and we are hoping that it would by published soon. We'll let you know what happens.
Since the list has a "Jeffrey," I thought I'd better jump in and correct my name:
Lest there be any confusion, that "Jeffrey" would be me, i.e., "Jeffery."

One scholar who has explored the peach image in Milton's Paradise Lost is Robert Appelbaum, in Aguecheek's Beef, Belch's Hiccup, and Other Gastronomic Interjections: Literature, Culture, and Food Among the Early Moderns.

I believe Professor Appelbaum subscribes to this list -- at least, he used to.
As for Upright Brewing's own account of Fantasia, just click the image below:

Hmmm . . . doesn't say if the beer comes in bottomless bottles . . .

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At 4:52 AM, Blogger Kevin Kim said...

I think those timid scholars are dancing around the real meaning of "eating a peach."

A female Korean friend of mine informs me that the Japanese say "eating a mango" in the same slang context. Mangoes lack the soft fuzz, however, so I think the peach image is better.

At 5:35 AM, Blogger ilTassista Marino said...

Mi-ami (do you love me) Peach.

As to Kim's remark, to make theology more exciting, somebody in Italy should suggest that the fruit was a "prugna" (prune).

At 5:48 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I only discovered the contemporary slang meaning of "eat a peach" after I started researching Milton's use of peach imagery for the forbidden fruit.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:39 AM, Blogger ilTassista Marino said...

Hmm, so, I'm afraid you'll won't be given the Noble Peach Prize.

At 7:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm admittedly no "Milton Scholar" so I'd not really be offering much in the way of defending my thinking the following as, oh, "problematic" I suppose;

And Eve wouldn't have looked so common before ...

My thoughts would be, she'd come closer to looking "LIKE" an angel. Before she bit at any rate. (I wasn't certain Jeff, given the listed 'some HTML tags' that I could bold the word - hence the caps - akin to shouting "theater" in a crowded fire you understand).

As for your, cough, being unaware of what eating a peach was - you got any memory of waking up on a bus?


At 8:15 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Dario, that Prize is forebitten anyway . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:17 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

HD, I recall the bus incident, but I don't think peaches were mentioned.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I was on my knees worshipping.

I suppose it's possible you slept through that "lapsarian" and only appreciated what preceded the prelapsarian stuff you Miltonites are always on about.

Myself? I've always, forgive me, been more interested in the Big Bang.

But now that all that's passed, I'm glad somebody was spending time inventing the Internet.

Thinking back I find myself thinking forward, I'm likely to enjoy the net for a longer period than I was capable of enjoying peaches.

Safer too now I think further. No need for latex between fingers on a keyboard.

After about 1985 at any rate. Oh well - I guess I can go back to wondering why, the Criminal Code of '69 could've possibly been encapsulated into a single book but now, it's up to 69 volumes of the book.

Getting old has its advantages. Whether Eve appeared common or not.


At 12:27 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, HD, for employing ambiguous wording -- it does have its uses.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Perfesser Jeff.

Which corse you reckon I orter pay the costs of CLEPin' myself inter one of them there PhDs which is so highly recommended?

Mind. I don't wanna score so high the only place I could possibly get hared at would be inywhare near the vicinity of the latest "incarnations" of a DPRK Kim.

I don't think I could put up with a Dennis Rodman more'n twice every other century unless I could get a lifetime ASPCA waiver.

& the waiver not being subject to Probate.


At 3:57 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

The DPRK is one place you want to stay way the HELL away from -- I don't like living with it so close since that sort of living might entail a greater risk of prematurely dying.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

S'why I mentioned "not being subject to probate" Jeff.

I figure now I can get me one of them there PhD's - and modestly accepting my intellect - I'm thinking tenure in ... oh, Belgium
would be deserving of me I'm reckoning.

I'd stipulate there being a bunch of crazy people there too - but nobody far as I'm aware 'off's an Uncle' nor invites a gawdawful exampulatory of humanisortofry as, for example, a Dennis Rodman.

And besides Jeff. Think of what I'm thinking of. Everybody is everywhile vacationing if they have any connection to Belgium. Heck. I'm betting even the Brits - given the calendar of anniversary making - won't be badmouthing Belgium anytime soon.

& really. How far could it possibly be to get some authentic haggis?

Wouldn't want "authentic Eyetalian mind - too close to Libya - but I could request a "delivered" anytime I wanted.


I never gave it much thought, well, actually none before but, givenall my obvious attributes and your Jeff, Gypsy Scholar site-meter hits I think, ... rather than me buying stamps to mail "whoever" in Belgium it takes to impress - all I really need do is accurately enter them letters.

Heck. I thinking even with the help of Mandela's now unemployed signer, I could get at least half of any class to agree, depending on the French to fight even li'l ol' me Invader they actually all along loved Shakespeare.

"Something smells Vichy in the direction of Denmark."


At 4:58 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I suspect if you'd just collate and turn in your scattered comments about various topics on innumerable websites, you would qualify for a doctorate somewhere in something . . .

Jeffery Hodges

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