The New Milton Criticism seeks to emphasize ambivalence and discontinuity in Milton's work and interrogate the assumptions and certainties in previous Milton scholarship. Contributors to the volume move Milton's open-ended poetics to the centre of Milton studies by showing how analysing irresolvable questions - religious, philosophical and literary critical - transforms interpretation and enriches appreciation of his work. The New Milton Criticism encourages scholars to embrace uncertainties in his writings rather than attempt to explain them away. Twelve critics from a range of countries, approaches and methodologies explore these questions in these new readings of Paradise Lost and other works. Sure to become a focus of debate and controversy in the field, this volume is a truly original contribution to early modern studies.
Peter C. Herman is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University. Elizabeth Sauer is Professor of English at Brock University, Canada.
Introduction: paradigms lost, paradigms found: the new Milton criticism Peter C. Herman and Elizabeth Sauer; Part I. Theodicies: 1. Milton's fetters, or, why Eden is better than heaven Richard Strier; 2. 'Whose fault, whose but his own?': Paradise Lost, contributory negligence, and the problem of cause Peter C. Herman; 3. The political theology of Milton's heaven John Rogers; 4. Meanwhile: (un)making time in Paradise Lost Judith Scherer Herz; 5. The gnostic Milton: salvation and divine similitude in Paradise Regained Michael Bryson; 6. The discontents with the drama of regeneration Elizabeth Sauer; Part II. Critical Receptions: 7. Against fescues and ferulas: personal affront and individual liberty in Milton's prose Christopher D'Addario; 8. Disruptive partners: Milton and seventeenth-century women writers Shannon Miller; 9. Eve and the ironic theodicy of the new Milton criticism Thomas Festa; 10. Denis Saurat, and the old new Milton criticism Jeffrey Shoulson; 11. The poverty of context: Cambridge School history and the new Milton criticism William Kolbrener; 12. Afterword Joseph Wittreich; Index.