Tag: John Milton

May 25, 2015  |  No Comments

When I was in medical school, a GI surgeon opened a lecture with a statement I’m sure has never been uttered before or since. “I have a confession to make,” he said with a weird grin. “I love infected pancreatic necrosis.” This surgeon, who so enjoyed the debridement of dead pancreas, had an infamous temper … Read More

November 13, 2011  |  No Comments

On June 15, 1917, a U.S. marshal and 12 New York City policemen entered the Lower East Side offices of the radical magazine Mother Earth and placed its editor under arrest.  The U.S. was mobilizing to enter World War I, and the famous anarchist Emma Goldman had been charged with conspiracy to obstruct the draft … Read More

October 12, 2011  |  No Comments

For more than a month now, I’ve been steeped in Peter Gay’s sane and sage history of the sanest and sagest intellects from Roman antiquity to the 18th-century.  Gay’s command of his subject is broad and deep.  He owns a subtle, temperate, and vivacious mind.   This book is a treasure chest of historical data, … Read More

February 8, 2011  |  No Comments

As Anthony Lane wrote in The New Yorker in 2001, “The work of Tolkien is infamously, almost scandalously, bereft of sex.”  Lane says he read it at 11 and 12 years old, exactly when I did–an age when a pretty girl was scarier than an orc.  Lane says that Tolkien’s epic particularly suits “those who … Read More

September 28, 2010  |  No Comments

Harold Bloom on Paradise Lost:

“What makes Paradise Lost unique is its startling blend of Shakespearean tragedy, Virgilian epic, and Biblical prophecy.  The terrible pathos of Macbeth joins itself to the Aeneid‘s sense of nightmare and to the Hebrew Bible’s assertion of authority.  That combination should have sunk any literary work nine fathoms deep, but John … Read More