Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Repetition

Stanley Fish reports back from the Ninth International Milton Symposium in London:

Peter Lindenbaum of Indiana University ... remarked to me that “There’s no point keeping up with Milton criticism because it keeps repeating itself.” But that is the point; the questions posed by the poetry are few, a finite set, but the ways of answering them are infinite, and because they are the ultimate questions, we want always to be returning to them. Sure we’ve heard them before, but we haven’t quite got it right, so we’re eager to give it another try. At the end of one session Tom Luxon of Dartmouth said, “That’s what it’s all about, keeping the conversation going.”
Needless to say, the questions (and answers) were already old when Milton picked them up and set them to verse.

"Sure we’ve heard them before, but we haven’t quite got it right" -- exactly my answer when asked why I repeat myself on this precious, precious blog. It sounds better than "because I'm not getting any younger and I tend to forget I've already rattled on about a given topic" but it also gets to the truth of the matter.

No comments: