Cover: Surprised by Sin in PAPERBACK

Surprised by Sin

The Reader in Paradise Lost, Second Edition with a New Preface

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Product Details

PAPERBACK

$50.50 • £40.95 • €45.50

ISBN 9780674857476

Publication Date: 03/15/1998

Short

440 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches

North America only

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In 1967 the world of Milton studies was divided into two armed camps: one proclaiming (in the tradition of Blake and Shelley) that Milton was of the devil’s party with or without knowing it, the other proclaiming (in the tradition of Addison and C. S. Lewis) that the poet’s sympathies are obviously with God and the angels loyal to him.

The achievement of Stanley Fish’s Surprised by Sin was to reconcile the two camps by subsuming their claims in a single overarching thesis: Paradise Lost is a poem about how its readers came to be the way they are—that is, fallen—and the poem’s lesson is proven on a reader’s impulse every time he or she finds a devilish action attractive or a godly action dismaying.

Fish’s argument reshaped the face of Milton studies; thirty years later the issues raised in Surprised by Sin continue to set the agenda and drive debate.

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The Vivian’s Door Initiative is inspired by the courage and legacy of the late Vivian Malone Jones. She was the first African American to graduate from the University of Alabama and was responsible for ending the segregation of public universities in the state of Alabama. Vivian’s courage and will power to create change for her brothers and sisters of color inspired the creation of a nonprofit project called Vivian’s Door. In March 2020, Vivian’s Door started a book club; their first pick was The Color of Money: Black Banks and the Racial Wealth Gap by Mehrsa Baradaran. In June, over 50 people joined the online discussion of the book