Monday, October 24, 2005

More on the Paradise Lost film script

Philip Pullman comments at the OUPblog. And he's very polite about it too, really. (Link via Bookslut.)

Paradise Lost is basically one of my favorite things ever, it is insanely good. I didn't read it--didn't read any Milton--until grad school and the only thing that spoiled my enjoyment was the voice in my head screaming "Why didn't anyone ever TELL me that I had to read this book because it's insanely and dementedly great?!?" Seriously, I don't think I'd ever been asked to read a single poem by Milton--I'd read Areopagitica but not even Lycidas, Milton was deeply unfashionable in the places I spent my time in the 80s and early 90s. That opening sequence of the first few books is the most amazing science-fiction-y spectacle you can imagine, and the language is sublime--I also like Milton's general crankiness--the only other book that ever made me feel exactly this way I read around the same time, Melville's Moby Dick. I had been avoiding it for years on the basis of a strong dislike for sea fiction (I still don't really like Conrad, though I make an exception for The Secret Agent and was ultimately won over by Patrick O'Brien and so forth). I thought it would be almost exactly like one of those Conrad sea ones. Rarely have my preconceptions been so thoroughly exposed as ignorant and prejudiced....


  1. I expect I should try Conrad again seriously sometime, though I feel that he just isn't my kind of a writer: I irrationally but strongly dislike his prose style, and you can't say that his books are at all funny, which is something I value in fiction... I can hardly think of any other novelist whose works so much make me think "this is a man writing for men."

  2. well, now I need to read paradise lost. Maybe after I finish The Work Oroboros...

  3. I have an original script of Paradise Lost which is brilliant. I would say that, wouldn'I, and I have read the one that is ostensibly in development in Hollywood. Our script has been going round Hollywood for two years but because we are English / British with no major contacts it is very frustrating. It is in fact a trilogy which covers Before Time (Paradise Lost), Our Time (Paradise Forgotten) and After Time (Paradise Regained)because it is the one story that applies to all humanity. Virtually every culture has Satan in it representing evil - Christian, Muslim, Hindu to name just 3 religions which account for 4bn people - because it is the ultimate story of how evil came into world, and the eternal battle between good and evil began. It required a genuis like John Milton to write the poem that still inspires and gives us a sense of awe even today. Amazing!! Makes Lord of the Rings looks a like a kiddies fight!