Making Darkness Light: A Life of John Milton
Labyrinth Books; Humanities Council, Joe Moshenska, Oxford University; Jeff Dolven, poet; Michael Wood, English and Comparative Literature, emeritus
March 16, 2022 · 6:00 pm—7:00 pm · Labyrinth Books and Livestream
Join us to discuss and celebrate an innovative and elegant new biography of John Milton from an acclaimed Oxford professor, who will be joined by two distinguished scholars.
This is s a hybrid event. For the livestream, register here.
John Milton was once essential reading for visionaries and revolutionaries, from William Blake to Ben Franklin. Now, however, he has become a literary institution intimidating rather than inspiring. In Making Darkness Light, Joe Moshenka rediscovers a poet whose rich contradictions confound his monumental image. The book changes the way we think about Milton, the place of his writings in his life, and his life in history. It is also a book about Miltons place in our times: about our relationship with the Western canon, about why and how we read, and about what happens when we let someone else’s ideas inflect our own.
Joe Moshenska is professor of English at Oxford, where he teaches early modern literature. His previous books are Feeling Pleasures: The Sense of Touch in Renaissance England; A Stain in the Blood: The Remarkable Voyage of Sir Kenelm Digby; and Iconoclasm as Childs Play. Jeff Dolven teaches poetry and poetics, especially of the English Renaissance. He has written three books of criticism, Scenes of Instruction, Senses of Style, and Take Care. His book of poems is Speculative Music. He is also an editor-at-large at Cabinet Magazine. Michael Wood is professor emeritus of English and Comparative Literature at Princeton University. He has written widely on 20th century literature, film, and literary theory and is an admired cultural critic who writes regularly for the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books. He is the author of The Magicians Doubts: Nabokov and the Risks of Fiction; Children of Silence: on Contemporary Fiction; The Road to Delphi: the Life and Afterlife of Oracles; Literature and the Taste of Knowledge, and Yeats and Violence, among other books.
This event is co-sponsored by Princeton University’s Humanities Council and the Department of English.