Paradise Lost

We shall get together, drink wine, and read Paradise Lost aloud. A period for discussion follows. And then puppets theater and procession) to act some of the more dramatic scenes (and write some new scenes of our own!).

Also, in this course, we buy it. That is, we will fully believe in and accept the mythos of the story—god, angels, demons, hell, adam and eve. No cynical nihlism in this course. It all happened just as he wrote it.

Topics for discussion

Whose paradise is lost: Lucifer's or the First Couple's?
Biology of angels and the trans-biology of demons
Paradise Lost as Social Intervention
Voice, story, magic
Designing Pandemonium (The Stones' stage): how does a fallen angel build anything?
Sympathy for the Devil: who loves ya baby?
Demons and Deleuze
The Ontological Soteriology of Paradise Lost
The Fall and Education "The end of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright." (Milton, "Of Education" 1644)


Teachers: Christian Greer & Eric Buck
Fee: Tip jar
Place: Our Living Rooms and appropriate(d) public spaces
Schedule: begins mid-March.

Supplements and Rivals

  • Dante's Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso
  • Wim Wenders' films Wings of Desire & Faraway, So Close! in which an angel becomes human in order to really live.
  • Rilke's poetry, especially the "Duino Elegies"
  • The novels of Charles Williams, especially The Place of the Lion
  • Kevin Smith's film Dogma
  • Catholic Encyc. article on angels
  • The first part of Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica
  • The Faust legend: Goethe, Marlowe, Svankmajer. Featuring (variously) Mephistopheles, Lucifer, the devil.
  • The Asuras of the Desire Realm and the Hell-like Narakas in Buddhist cosmology: see Bardo Thodol (Tibetan Book of the Dead), Tibetan Wheel of Life
  • Phillip Pullman's trilogy His Dark Materials
  • Charles Williams' Shadows of Ecstasy and Place of the Lion, which constitute novelistic arguments about the reality of Patterns or Powers


The Puppeteer's Cooperative
Another kind of street puppet

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