Saturday, September 7, 2013

Introductions, and Literature of Loss

Well, hello there, everyone. My name's Greg Bayles, and in case there was any doubt in your mind, the bespectacled fellow to the left is, in fact, me. I'm from Las Vegas, NV, and I'm a senior (yikes!) studying English. I love reading and writing, and I have aspirations to write novels (though during school, I mostly write poetry because of time constraints). Among other hobbies are pretty much all water sports, swimming being the most prominent of these; playing and composing on the piano; riding my bike at night; and making new friends. I'm also an unabashed Slavophile, and I speak Russian fluently. Generally, I like to think that I'm a fairly easy-going guy most of the time, though that's probably a common sentiment among the up-tight and crotchety as well. In any case, I'm excited to get to work with everyone, and I'm really glad for the chance to dive into Milton.

                                 . . .all our woe,
With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
Restore us, and regain the blissful seat (3-5)

I think one of the most important themes within literature as a whole is the idea of what we do when things go wrong and, by extension, what those experiences can make of us. Every book that has touched my soul--from A Tale of Two Cities to The Giver to Catcher in the Rye--has brought me, in one way or another, to a consciousness of loss and sorrow. Before it has shown me a way out of the shadows, it has first taken me through the darkness of human despair, frustration, anxiety, fear, hatred, and doubt, and it is only in that position of impoverishment that I have been able to experience the redemption of a literary paradise regained.

In other words, in order for us truly understand the redemptive process, we have to come to grasp in fullness the nature of the fall and the nature of our daily stumbles. 



  1. Greg, you and I are in both of Dr. Burton's classes, so I'm sure we'll get to know each other quite well!

  2. Very insightful. Part of this life is making mistakes and the first step of making them right is realizing that there is hope. That makes that great line so peaceful "till one greater Man/Restore us, and regain the blissful seat." I'm always in awe of how literature has a way of not only transporting us, but giving us a chance to try on someone else's life for size and take with us what we love, and learn to shun the pain-inducing experiences we found. Unfortunately, we cannot have one without the other. A lesson I'm learning daily, but if we're still, God's goodness can be seen.

    P.S. I've wanted to learn Russian since I was 12. Props to you! Not easy grammar.