Milton, thou should’st be living at this hour

In 1980, with a bunch of friends from the English department of Sydney University, I organized a reading of the complete Paradise Lost. I stayed up very late the night before breaking up the text into sections and identifying dramatis personae so that it could be read in a semi-dramatic way with a narrator and people doing the speeches. As a result, I was very very tired. I confess I didn’t stay for the whole reading, which took place in the then English Students’ Common Room in the Woolley Building, but sloped off in the afternoon for a nap at Women’s College in the room of my then girlfriend, UB. It took all day – a bit under an hour per book, as I recall.

Some years later, I mentioned to Dr Bev Sherry this event and, as she is a keen Miltonian, it must have stuck in her memory. It is for this reason that I claim some authorship of the concept behind todays’s reading of exerpts (only) from the poem in honour of Milton’s Quatercentenary.

Milton’s notional birthday of 9 December (possibly actually his baptismal date) is presumably under the Julian rather the Gregorian calendar. It is a moot point therefore when the anniversary should properly be celebrated, though on any view I would have thought that today was not the date.

Ironically, somebody previously identified as “the evil one” in a long-defunct blog which until recently was still traceable on the net but which I can no longer track down has secured the role of God. Other persons known to me have other parts. It seems to be a family job. Apparently Nathan Rees will be taking part as well.

More ironically still, the event is to take place at Christ Church St Laurence. This would definitely be too bells-n-smells for Milton, were he living at this hour and present.

I shall try to get there, for old times’ sake.

One Response to “Milton, thou should’st be living at this hour”

  1. Paradise Lost abridged « Stumbling on melons Says:

    […] Stumbling on melons Just another WordPress.com weblog « Milton, thou should’st be living at this hour […]

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