How interesting John Milton's use of the word "certain" is.
Does AI represent a radically new direction for humanity? Or is it simply the latest iteration of a myth structuring our world into a hierarchy that glorifies the divine at the expense of the mundane?
Blanchot (commenting on Priam's supplication of Achilles) says the choice in Homer is violence or speech. In Vergil, in the modern state, our choice is only violence or the silence, whether of Dido or Ajax, imposed upon us by our isolation within the emptiness of our dreams (Milton).
There's a way in which everything you see in a poem should be obvious when you see it, should be a duh!-moment.
Teaching Milton this semester, I think I made a couple of connections that must be obvious, but that I'd never quite seen before (or maybe I had: these days I'm finding the obvious striking again, which I don't know whether that's a good or a bad thing).
Literary Need, IV: Love's Characters
The topic of our attachment to words is allegorical of our attachments to ourselves and to other persons.
Meter in fleet cahoots with subject matter
Following up on my earlier post on Nantucket, as well as all the discussion here about Ngrams, I want to offer a few spontaneous speculations based on a new paper that's the talk of at least a couple of neighborhoods in the town.
Shakespeare and the social network
I was intrigued by this (abstract) mathematical analysis of structural balance in social groups because I was teaching Richard II all week, and thinking about my favorite book on Shakespeare, Richard Decker's Anatomy of the Screenplay.
Narrators, Part 2 -- The Cess of Omniscience
At the end of a work of fiction, the ideal reader knows as much as the author. How could it be otherwise? There is nothing else to know.This means that the end of the work is the end of omniscience.
Metaphor and the fallacy of conversion
Joshua Landy just posted a very interesting blog entry here, partly on how the fallacy of conversion tends to work in Derridean argument. I am no longer enchanted by Derrida -- I've been... deconverted? deprogrammed? -- but I was prompted to defend him in the comments to that post.