Saturday, January 9, 2010

Milton's Paradise Lost (1667) & Newton's Principia (1687)

To anyone who takes a more than casual interest in both poetry and science, the juxtaposition of these two texts, separated by only twenty years, must seem oddly fortuitous—or just odd: the one, the greatest poem in English, or perhaps in any language, about the big bang that created nature and morality i.e. the Fall; the other, the foundation text of modern physics and the scientific enterprise that would essentially finalize that fall i.e. drive a permanent wedge between nature and morality as separate and incompatible realms of being.

1 comment:

  1. I took a break from an amount of homework to tour around your blog; I'm glad I did.

    I love your treatment of literature, for it makes me want to know more. I'm back in school after almost a decade and I'm enjoying all my classes, but one. I have been blaming my dislike for the subject on the material we've been learning, but I was dead wrong--the problem is the method.

    Things are being forced down my throat without providing any reason, other than "if you don't do well you'll fail", which is not very conducive. I've read a few of your posts (will be back soon to comment on them) and I can't wait to read the works you've presented.

    I bet your students were a happy bunch, and if they weren't then something was very wrong with them, for there is nothing better for the mind than a guide who treats the process of learning as an art.