Introduction

Erin Murphy, Catharine Gray

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

In the preface to their 1987 collection, Re-membering Milton: Essays on the Texts and Traditions, Mary Nyquist and Margaret Ferguson critiqued the modernist vision of The Living Milton offered by Frank Kermode’s 1965 volume of essays, replacing the organic image of the author as a “living poet” with a constructivist one emphasizing “that the figure of Milton the author is itself the product of a certain self-construction; and that signs of motivated self-constitution can be seen even more clearly in the various critical and cultural traditions in which Milton enjoys an afterlife.”1 Despite their poststructuralist skepticism about the term “living,” Nyquist and Ferguson’s volume is characterized by an intellectual liveliness, as the editors are joined by a group of scholars reveling in the density and complexity of their theoretically informed and, often, politically engaged readings of Milton. From their opening assurances that their volume “does not intend any ritual dismemberment,” in which they play with the image of themselves as castrating women, to their characterization of their volume’s contributors as outsiders to an academic community too often committed to representing Milton as the ultimate “educated, white and phallocratic elite” insider, Nyquist and Ferguson introduced Re-membering Milton with a rollicking proclamation of a kind of activist and interventionist scholarship, one that grounded itself in a deep theoretical and historical sophistication (xii, xv).
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMilton Now
Subtitle of host publicationAlternative Approaches and Contexts
EditorsCatharine Gray, Erin Murphy
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherPalgrave
Pages1-25
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-38310-5
ISBN (Print)978-1-349-48036-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameEarly Modern Cultural Studies

Keywords

  • historical moment
  • historicist method
  • queer theory
  • woman writer
  • Paradise Lost

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  • Research Output

    Milton Now: Alternative Approaches and Contexts

    Gray, C. E. (ed.) & Murphy, E. (ed.), 2014, New York: Palgrave. 284 p. (Early Modern Cultural Studies)

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    Cite this

    Murphy, E., & Gray, C. (2014). Introduction. In C. Gray, & E. Murphy (Eds.), Milton Now: Alternative Approaches and Contexts (pp. 1-25). (Early Modern Cultural Studies). Palgrave. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137383105_1