New Readings Series
Harvester Wheatsheaf, London & New York 1991
... I have never encountered such stylistic mastery before in literary criticism.

William B Hunter
This book reappraises Milton's works in the light of modern awareness of the polyphonic and conflict-generating ambiguity of literary language. At the same time, the author seeks a 'holistic reading practice' within a reader-orientated criticism. This allows multiple reading methods in a language accessible to the common reader and permits room for reflection on the author's possible conscious and unconscious intentions.

Close analysis of Milton's philosophy of language and his literary usage reveals the sense he shared with Bacon, Hobbes and radical linguistic theoreticians of the seventeenth century of the unstable and problematic character of language itself. The language of Paradise Lost has as its dynamic the breakdown of the eye and the word, in the light of the perspectivism of Baroque and the relativism of telescopic perspective: the poem at once glorifies and denounces its God. Paradise Regained is studied as a unique experiment in a reclusive language of the interior self; Samson Agonistes as a male language which violently repudiates the body of the mother-tongue, as the hero excises the feminine affiliations from himself.
Out of Print

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