John Milton’s poems Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained are among the greatest pieces of writing in the English language. Like other writers of his time, Milton had only a sketchy idea of Islam and the Arab world, from travellers and linguists who had made the arduous journey to and from the Middle East. But buried in his works are signs that Milton had absorbed ideas and influences from Islam and Arab culture. Professor Dahiyat shows how from the Middle Ages, partly as an attempt to counteract Islam with Christianity, a wide range of writers and researchers spoke, read and wrote Arabic and published books in the earliest days of printing which Milton could have read. Dahiyat then shows how many different references there are to the Orient and Islam in Milton’s writings, and discusses the later response of Arab writers and scholars to Milton’s major works.
Epistemology of a Fundamental Human Behavior, its Meaning, and Consequences
Author: Albrecht Classen
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter
Category: Literary Criticism
Despite popular opinions of the ‘dark Middle Ages’ and a ‘gloomy early modern age,’ many people laughed, smiled, giggled, chuckled, entertained and ridiculed each other. This volume demonstrates how important laughter had been at times and how diverse the situations proved to be in which people laughed, and this from late antiquity to the eighteenth century. The contributions examine a wide gamut of significant cases of laughter in literary texts, historical documents, and art works where laughter determined the relationship among people. In fact, laughter emerges as a kaleidoscopic phenomenon reflecting divine joy, bitter hatred and contempt, satirical perspectives and parodic intentions. In some examples protagonists laughed out of sheer happiness and delight, in others because they felt anxiety and insecurity. It is much more difficult to detect premodern sculptures of laughing figures, but they also existed. Laughter reflected a variety of concerns, interests, and intentions, and the collective approach in this volume to laughter in the past opens many new windows to the history of mentality, social and religious conditions, gender relationships, and power structures.
Milton and This Pendant World is an interpretation of the great English poet “in an age increasingly skeptical, in a culture dominated by the assumptions of the natural and historical sciences and by the illusions of progress and enlightenment.” Those are the words of the author of this book, George Wesley Whiting, an eminent and devoted Miltonian. Believing that Milton has a vital message for the modern world, Whiting has abandoned the usual pattern for examining a poet—study of versification, meter, and other poetic devices. Instead, he presents an exposition of the spiritual and moral meaning of Milton’s poetry, which can still have truth and beauty for this doubting age. The literary image of the pendant world was familiar in Milton’s seventeenth century, but is meaningless to most people of our day. The comforting picture of the world hanging from heaven on a golden chain signifies God’s close watchfulness over humanity and the inseparable bond which links us to the spiritual kingdom. The author declares that the search for God and the struggle to overcome the spiritual and material forces that impede the search represent the most vital of all human efforts; for unless this search is our primary motivation, life is without meaning, without final purpose. Whiting also observes that true Christianity stands not for the impoverishment of humanity and our enslavement to the Deity, but rather for human moral health, harmonious development, and spiritual welfare. In order to save civilization from destruction at the hands of its friends—secularists, specialists, militarists, and politicians—we must have a renaissance of the spirit, a cultural synthesis in which a revitalized religion, enriched by philosophy and science, renews the ideals of Christianity.
For the most part, the women portrayed have speak to us through intermediaries. Hildegard of Bingen, Christine de Pisan, and Ann Hutchinson's 'recusant nuns' may present themselves in their own words - though even here there are veils of concealment, dissimulation, assumption and presumption to be removed - but Chaucer's women, Chretien's patrons, Milton's Eve, the conflation of saints which comprises Wilgefortis, Ste Foy, and the imperious Theodora are presented in the words, works and social milieux of men. Where they are, ostensibly, given their own voices it is by male authors.
By piecing the lives of selected individuals into a grand mosaic, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Daniel J. Boorstin explores the development of artistic innovation over 3,000 years. A hugely ambitious chronicle of the arts that Boorstin delivers with the scope that made his Discoverers a national bestseller. Even as he tells the stories of such individual creators as Homer, Joyce, Giotto, Picasso, Handel, Wagner, and Virginia Woolf, Boorstin assembles them into a grand mosaic of aesthetic and intellectual invention. In the process he tells us not only how great art (and great architecture and philosophy) is created, but where it comes from and how it has shaped and mirrored societies from Vedic India to the twentieth-century United States.
The articles in this volume focus upon Boethius's extant works: his De arithmetica and a fragmentary De musica, his translations and commentaries on logic, his five theological texts, and, of course, his Consolation of Philosophy. They examine the effects that Boethian thought has exercised upon the learning of later generations of scholars.
In this "magnificant book" (T.S. Eliot), Ernst Robert Curtius (1886-1956), one of the foremost literary scholars of this century, examines the continuity of European literature from Homer to Goethe, with particular emphasis on the Latin Middle Ages. In an extensive new epilogue, drawing on hitherto unpublished material, Peter Godman, Professor of Medieval Latin at the University of Tubingen, analyzes the intellectual and political context and character of Curtius's ideas.
Medievalism, the later reception of the Middle Ages, has been used by many writers, not just during the Victorian period but from the Renaissance to the present, as a means of commenting on their own societies and systems of values. Until recently, this self-interest was used to distinguish between Medievalism, a selective, often romanticised, view of the past, and medieval studies, with its quest for an authentic Middle Ages. The essays in this collection suggest that the search for knowledge of a "real" Middle Ages has always been a problematic one, and that the vitality of the vision of Medievalism is demonstrated by its constant adaption to current concerns.