New PDF release: A Preface to Paradise Lost

By C. S. Lewis

ISBN-10: 0195003454

ISBN-13: 9780195003451

"An crucial paintings in knowing either the literary technique of C.S. Lewis and the theological assumptions of Paradise misplaced. extraordinary in its conciseness."--I.S. Maclean, James Madison University

"Still the main lucid, beneficial, interesting advent to Milton's poem someone has contrived to put in writing. conventional literary feedback at its best."--Lance E. Wilcox, Elmhurst College

About the author
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) was once an Irish writer and student of combined Irish, English, and Welsh ancestry. Lewis is understood for his paintings on medieval literature, Christian apologetics and fiction, specially the youngsters sequence entitled The Chronicles of Narnia and his technology fiction house Trilogy.

A Preface to Paradise misplaced presents an interpretation of Milton's objective in writing the epic.

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Example text

If the mere printed page is to affect us like the voice of a bard chanting in a hall, then the chant must go on-smoothly, irresistibly, 'upborne with indefatigable wings'. We must not be allowed to settle down at the end of each sentence. Even the fuller pause at the end of a paragraph must be felt as we feel the pause in a piece of music, where the silence is part of the music, and not as we feel the pause between one item of a concert and the next. Even between one Book and the next we must not wholly wake from the enchantment nor quite put off our festal clothes.

COLERIDGE. The style of Virgil and Milton arises as the solution of a very definite problem. The Secondary epic aims at an even higher solemnity than the Primary ; but it has lost all those external aids to solemnity which the Primary enjoyed. There is no robed and garlanded aoidos, no altar, not even a feast in a hall -only a private person reading a book in an armchair. Yet somehow or other, that private person must be made to feel that he is assisting at an august ritual, for if he does not, he will not be receptive of the true epic exhilaration.

It will, of course, be greatly enriched if the mythical blind bards of antiquity are brought to bear on us. A poet like Spenser would simply begin a new stanza with Likewise dan Homer or something of the sort. But that will not quite serve Milton's purpose : it is a little too like rambling, it might sug­ gest the garrulity of an old gentleman in his chair. Nor some­ times forget gets him across from Sion and the flowery brooks to THE STYLE O F SECONDARY EPIC 47 Blind Thamyris with an appearance of continuity, like the stylized movement by which a dancer passes from one position to another.

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A Preface to Paradise Lost by C. S. Lewis

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