This text explores the radical effect of Milton's theological convictions on his poetry and prose. For Milton the value of a poem or of any other production derives from the inner worth of its author and not from any external measure of excellence or heroism. Milton's aesthetic, says Fish, is an "aesthetic of testimony": every action, whether verbal or physical, is or should be the action of holding fast to a single saving commitment against the allure of plot, narrative, representation, signs, drama - anything that might be construed as an illegitimate supplement to divine truth. Much of the energy of Milton's writing, according to Fish, comes from the effort to maintain his faith against these temptations, temptations which in any other aesthetic would be seen as the very essence of poetic value.
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(225mm x 144mm x 38mm)
The Belknap Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
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Author Biography - Stanley Fish
Stanley Fish is Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His many books include There's No Such Thing as Free Speech, and It's a Good Thing Too.