Over the past 30 years, when wanting any literary criticism I have found myself returning to the great classics of the mid-last century - books such as J.F. Danby`s Shakespeare`s Doctrine of Nature or Caroline Spurgeon`s Shakespeare`s Imagery. Deliberate obfuscation has long overtaken contemporary criticism, with the exception of pioneering all-encompassing masterpieces like Norman O. Brown`s Love`s Body & Life against Death.
So it was with a sense of real intellectual excitement that I began to read Sanford Budick`s volume Kant & Milton (Harvard UP, 2010). Here at long last is a book that sets the philosophical gelignite fizzing beneath the negative judgments of Messrs T.S. Eliot and Leavis who dislodged Milton from favor those many years ago. (more…)