Thursday, January 24, 2013

Reading Paradise Lost Like a Comic Book

Over at io9 Esther Inglis-Arkell offers "10 Ways John Milton's Paradise Lost is Like a Bad Comic Book," offering one of those ways for each of the epic poem's first ten books.

There is room for argument with some of the individual points, but I think Esther gets a lot right, not least the fundamental approach. Instead of the usual responses to Great Literature - a mix of boredom, incomprehension and lip service to received ideas about the status accorded it by academic critics, or more enthusiastic but equally unthinking reverence - we have a reader respond to it just as they would any work of book which came to them without the label Great Literature conspicuously attached, permitting a genuine reaction to it as a piece of fiction. Which is exactly what fiction is supposed to get from us first and foremost.

Reading Literary Classics
What is Literature?
Of Genre Fiction and Literary Fiction

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