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In 1667, Paradise Lost, the greatest narrative poem in the English language, appeared in print. John Milton, the author, was a blind, gout-afflicted scholar and retired civil servant living in obscurity as he approached his 60th birthday. He had not published any major poetic works in two decades. But he almost immediately ascended to a place in English literature which would set him alongside Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare, and his poetic achievements would inspire minds as diverse as John Dryden and William Blake. Join James Banks as we dive into the life and mind of John Milton, the blind visionary, pious heretic and radical institutionalist who, in the last decade of his life, secured his poetic legacy and redefined English narrative verse forever.
Date: August 27
Time: 7-8:30 pm EST
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Bio: James Banks works and lives in Austin, Texas. He has written on a diverse range of topics, from Soviet dissident literature to aesthetic philosophy. His work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, The Intercollegiate Review, The American Interest and elsewhere. Prior to moving to Texas, he earned a master’s degree and began doctoral studies at the University of Rochester where he also taught on writing and politics. He also served for eight years in the military intelligence branch of the United States Army.