diary / by Edward Mullany


One tends to hear less about Milton’s Paradise Regained than one hears about his Paradise Lost, just as one tends to hear less about Dante’s Paradiso and Purgatorio than one hears about his Inferno, even though, in the case of both poets, it is the work in its totality, rather than in its parts, that conveys the fullness of the artistry of that poet’s project, and of that poet’s attempt at dramatizing truth, which makes one wonder, I think, about the inclinations of human curiosity, as evidenced by what history has shown to have taken hold in the public imagination, which seems to want to be plunged, at least in these instances, in the wisdom found in literature that features the diabolic in all its falsity and ruin, and yet with a sort of grandeur, rather than literature where that same diabolic is felt, or represented, but is given less stage time, or is portrayed in unequivocal defeat.