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 Post subject: Recommend a Paradise Lost translation??
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:00 pm 
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Journeyman
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I want to read Milton's Paradise Lost but I don't know which translation I should get.

I had read translations of Dante's Inferno... but it wasn't until I came across Esolen's version when i really found myself understanding and enjoying the book.

I'm hoping someone can point me to a Paradise Lost translation that is clear and understandable for a person new to the book.

Thanks

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 Post subject: Re: Recommend a Paradise Lost translation??
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:07 pm 
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King of Cool

Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:30 pm
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Paradise Lost was written in English by Puritan poet John Milton. And it wouldn't be proper to refer to it as a 'book', it is a poem.

What language do you wish to read it in?


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 Post subject: Re: Recommend a Paradise Lost translation??
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:12 pm 
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Journeyman
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English and thank you

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 Post subject: Re: Recommend a Paradise Lost translation??
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:19 pm 
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King of Cool

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You misunderstood my joke, it was written in English, no translation is necessary. Just find an edition with a lot of marginal notes.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommend a Paradise Lost translation??
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:31 pm 
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Journeyman
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Grrrrrrrrrr

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 Post subject: Re: Recommend a Paradise Lost translation??
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:37 am 
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King of Cool

Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:30 pm
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I don't follow you, did you already know it was written in English and I just misunderstood your question?

It is a difficult poem to read, intend to spend at least a couple months on it, don't try to read it like a novel. He makes a lot of references to stuff that non-Puritans might not understand, so having some good marginal notes is critical I think. The poem is also explicitly anti-Catholic, for example, he attributes the idea of Transubstantiation to Satam/ One thing that tends to mislead many modern readers is a failure to understand that everything Satan says in the poem, literally every single line of dialogue, is a lie. Failure to understand this is part of the reason for the common misinterpretation that Satan is the hero of the poem.


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 Post subject: Re: Recommend a Paradise Lost translation??
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:07 pm 
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Journeyman
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the "Grrrrrrr" was for you exposing my buffoonery.
I meant it in a goodhearted way.

For the first my assuming it was a book/novel.... and second, my thinking there would be different translations since the book was written in English.

But, that being said... are there editions of it in which it's 'translated' or expressed in a clearer parlance??

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 Post subject: Re: Recommend a Paradise Lost translation??
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:04 pm 
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King of Cool

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p.falk wrote:
the "Grrrrrrr" was for you exposing my buffoonery.
I meant it in a goodhearted way.

For the first my assuming it was a book/novel.... and second, my thinking there would be different translations since the book was written in English.

But, that being said... are there editions of it in which it's 'translated' or expressed in a clearer parlance??


There is at least one book which presents Paradise Lost in modern English, but even though it is a little clearer and easier to read, you miss a lot of what makes poetry worth reading. I would recommend that if you pick up, you use it only as a kind of aide or guide to help clarify difficult passages as you read the poem in its original 17th-century parlance.

Milton actually published two editions of the poem, the first in 1667 and the second in 1674, and there are substantial differences between the two. It would be good to find an edition that explained the differences, where they are relevant.

Another thing is, you need to understand the historical context of the poem. Milton was a Puritan, and he had very radical political views for the time, for example, he advocated divorce, and he supported the rebellion against King Charles I and his beheading. And he supported the rule of Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector. And in Paradise Lost, he incorporates arguments in favor of the Puritan rebellion.


You may be wondering how the Puritan rebellion is relevant to Paradise Lost, but the point is that to Milton, the point of the poem was to present his full life philosophy.

There was a time when Paradise Lost was one of the most popular and widely read works of English literature, but in 1823, a theological treatise that had been written by Milton in Latin called 'De Doctrina Christiania' or 'Concerning Christian Doctrine', prior to the discovery of this treatise, it was commonly thought that Milton's theology was orthodox, but this book makes it clear that he was a heretic, an Arian, and that he held many theological views that are just downright bizarre, and that these heresies are incorporated into Paradise Lost. After that point, Milton's reputation declined and works started to fall out of favor.

So it would be good to find an edition that explains his heresies when they show up in the poem.

I know what you're thinking, what edition am I talking about that does all this? Unfortunately, I'm not aware of one, I can't recommend one.


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