Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jake's Annotated Bib

Working Thesis

Areopagitica decries statist information gatekeeping as “contrary to the manner of God and of nature;” ironically, after the reinstated monarchy imprisoned Milton and publicly burned many of his political tracts, he apparently reverses this claim as he discusses the fall of the Babel via the voice of Michael in the final book of Paradise Lost.

Social Graph

Jacob Bender - a longtime friend and one of the most knowledgable lovers of literature I've met. He's currently studying James Joyce and Peurto Rican literature as a PhD student back east. I expect he'll also be a valuable asset in keeping my historical perspective sound. I recently reached out to him via Google+ but haven't heard back yet.

Jason Kerr - I just dropped by his office today to introduce myself and, as Dr. Burton promised, he welcomed the opportunity to talk some Milton. I was blown away by his ability to rattle off citations for me to look up to flesh out my argument.

Falawn Clayson - my better half. She may not know John Milton from Milton Bradley (I exagerate), but that can be a good thing: I'll know I haven't sufficiently covered the historical/autobiographical elements of my topic if she can't follow my logic. She's also a smashing writer who isn't afraid to tell me when I'm getting pretentious or pedantic. We've chatted on a broad level, but I plan to run my working draft by her in the future.

Greg Bayles - I've had a few conversations with Greg after class, and the dude knows his stuff. Though we didn't meet in person until the first day of ENGL 383, he's offered insightful feedback on my past writing at shipsofhagoth.com, and is clearly a mover and a shaker when it comes to social networking; I hope it's not too late to learn from his discipline and consistency for this paper.

Ben Gillis - another longtime friend, Ben is wrapping up a law degree in Texas after earning an English BA here at BYU. He's always impressed me with his ability to troubleshoot logic, look at the big picture, and correct mechanical problems in my writing. I also recently reached out to him via Google+ but haven't heard back yet.

New Media

For a while, my new media research was similar to what Johnathan, Heather, and Chelsea are focused on: Areopagitica's application in a post-9/11 world. I googled some semi-scholarly articles that broadly discussed Milton's political thought with contemporary libertarian concerns, and I stumbled into a cool BBC documentary on YouTube about Cromwell in the process, but nothing really gelled the way I wanted it to.
More recently, I've searched for "Paradise Lost Book XII" on Prezi. I haven't had the chance to mine the 123 presentations my search returned, but a quick glance left me intrigued. I did see, however, that there were some YouTube videos embedded in a couple Prezis, and that inspired me to YouTube the same search terms (not sure why I hadn't thought of doing that previously). Lo and behold, an OpenYale lecture on those books popped up...

Social Networks

So far, I've mainly used Twitter, Facebook and Google+. With the former two I simply asked if anyone in my existing networks (including the literary blogging network I've started for Ships of Hagoth) had any interest in the subject and posted a link to my last blog post on this site. For Google+, I spent some time trying to find solid Milton-related communities (found nothing noteworthy), and then I did a hashtag search for a few Milton terms and commented on relevant posts expressing appreciation for the post and asking if they had any insight on my topic. No replies yet, but I'll give it another day or two.

I plan to follow a similar approach on Twitter and try out the "Dear Professor" personal message approach we discussed in class via LinkedIn, academia.org. This is probably where I'm most short at the moment.

Traditional Sources

Archer, Stanley. "'Paradise Lost,' XI-XII: The Vanity of Human Wishes." South Central Bulletin 1975: 114-17. Print.
This one looks like it'll get me started on creating a research space. It's a pretty old though, so I'll likely replace it with a more recent equivalent discussion.
Bohm, Arnd. "Nimrod and Wordsworth's ‘Simon Lee’: Habits of Tyranny." Romanticism 2002: 131-60. Print.
Some interesting commentary on why Milton conflated Nimrod into the Babel narrative; it argues that Milton did so to create a parallel between Pandemonium and Babel's Tower via a parallel between Nimrod and Lucifer. I think this strengthens the link to communication as Pandemonium functions mainly as a communication hub.
Giorno, Gabriella Theresa. "Paradise Lost for the Dying Dream: The Mortal Redefinition of Linguistic Signs in Eden." Exemplaria 2006: 67-91. Print.
This one should give me some broad context for Milton's assumptions about Linguistic Signs in Eden, which I'll then contrast to his postlapsian depictions language and communication.
Kerr, Jason A. "Prophesying the Bible: The Improvisation of Scripture in Books 11 and 12 of Paradise Lost." Milton Quarterly 47.1 (2013): 13-33. Print.
This one may offer more of a jumping-off point via its bibliography, but it looks like it explores possible reasons Milton chose the biblical scenes he did for the final books of Paradise lost. This should ensure I'm not oversimplifying Milton's use of Babel.
Low, Anthony. "The Image of the Tower in Paradise Lost." SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 1970: 171-81. Print.
This one argues that Towers play a vital semiotic role throughout the epic, demonstrating the rise and fall of self-agrandizing power in contrast to the falling and rising narrative of Christ, Adam, and Eve. I'm hoping this will allow me to find a larger literary pattern where other towers represent specific types of communication characterized by other (maybe similar) modes of knowledge gatekeeping.

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