Thursday, October 27, 2005

The Paradise of Paradise Lost

The other day, a colleague asked me about my blog, "Do you like anything, or do you just pan s**t?"

I like lots of things, but too much praise can make one sound James Lipton-esque. And no one needs more James Lipton in his life.

Paradise Lost, for example. I love PL. I love about everything in it except for the astronomy lessons. I love the fact that Satan tempts Eve with the same sorts of weakness that caused his own Fall. I love that after eating of the Fruit, the first official post-Lapsarian sin is lust-inspired (rather than love-inspired) sex ... a sin that they have to commit together. I love that Adam and Eve try to blame one another for the Fall. I love the way that both Satan and Adam try to blame God for their troubles. I love that the thing that finally gets Adam and Eve confess their sins to God at the end of Book X is their near-breakup fight.

Perhaps most of all, I love the last two lines: "They, hand in hand, with wandering steps and slow,/ Through Eden took their solitary way." Solitary, but hand in hand -- the human condition.

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