Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. The first version, published in 1667, consisted of ten books with over ten thousand lines of verse. A second edition followed in 1674, arranged into twelve books with minor revisions throughout and a note on the versification, it is considered by critics to be Milton's major work, it helped solidify his reputation as one of the greatest English poets of his time. The poem concerns the biblical story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton's purpose, stated in Book I, is to "justify the ways of God to men." In his introduction to the Penguin edition of Paradise Lost, the Milton scholar John Leonard notes, "John Milton was nearly sixty when he published Paradise Lost in 1667. The biographer John Aubrey tells us that the poem was begun in about 1658 and finished in about 1663. However, parts were certainly written earlier, its roots lie in Milton's earliest youth."
Leonard speculates that the English Civil War interrupted Milton's earliest attempts to start his "epic that would encompass all space and time."Leonard notes that Milton "did not at first plan to write a biblical epic." Since epics were written about heroic kings and queens, Milton envisioned his epic to be based on a legendary Saxon or British king like the legend of King Arthur. In the 1667 version of Paradise Lost, the poem was divided into ten books. However, in the 1672 edition, Paradise Lost contained twelve books. Having gone blind in 1652, Milton wrote Paradise Lost through dictation with the help of amanuenses and friends, he wrote the epic poem while he was ill, suffering from gout, despite the fact that he was suffering after the early death of his second wife, Katherine Woodcock, in 1658, the death of their infant daughter. The poem is divided into "books"; the Arguments at the head of each book were added in subsequent imprints of the first edition. The poem follows the epic tradition of starting in medias res, the background story being recounted later.
Milton's story has one about Satan and the other following Adam and Eve. It begins after Satan and the other rebel angels have been defeated and banished to Hell, or, as it is called in the poem, Tartarus. In Pandæmonium, the capital city of Hell, Satan employs his rhetorical skill to organize his followers. Belial and Moloch are present. At the end of the debate, Satan volunteers to corrupt the newly created Earth and God's new and most favoured creation, Mankind, he braves the dangers of the Abyss alone in a manner reminiscent of Aeneas. After an arduous traversal of the Chaos outside Hell, he enters God's new material World, the Garden of Eden. At several points in the poem, an Angelic War over Heaven is recounted from different perspectives. Satan's rebellion follows the epic convention of large-scale warfare; the battles between the faithful angels and Satan's forces take place over three days. At the final battle, the Son of God single-handedly defeats the entire legion of angelic rebels and banishes them from Heaven.
Following this purge, God creates the World, culminating in his creation of Eve. While God gave Adam and Eve total freedom and power to rule over all creation, he gave them one explicit command: not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil on penalty of death; the story of Adam and Eve's temptation and fall is a fundamentally different, new kind of epic: a domestic one. Adam and Eve are presented as having a romantic and sexual relationship while still being without sin, they have distinct personalities. Satan, disguised in the form of a serpent tempts Eve to eat from the Tree by preying on her vanity and tricking her with rhetoric. Adam, learning that Eve has sinned, knowingly commits the same sin, he declares to Eve that since she was made from his flesh, they are bound to one another – if she dies, he must die. In this manner, Milton portrays Adam as a heroic figure, but as a greater sinner than Eve, as he is aware that what he is doing is wrong. After eating the fruit and Eve have lustful sex.
At first, Adam is convinced that Eve was right in thinking that eating the fruit would be beneficial. However, they soon fall asleep and have terrible nightmares, after they awake, they experience guilt and shame for the first time. Realizing that they have committed a terrible act against God, they engage in mutual recrimination. Meanwhile, Satan returns triumphantly amid the praise of his fellow fallen angels, he tells them about how their scheme worked and Mankind has fallen, giving them complete dominion over Paradise. As he finishes his speech, the fallen angels around him become hideous snakes, soon enough, Satan himself turned into a snake, deprived of limbs and unable to talk. Thus, they share the same punishment. Eve appeals to Adam for reconciliation of their actions, her encouragement enables them to approach God, sue for grace, bowing on supplicant knee, to receive forgiveness. In a vision shown to him by the angel Michael, Adam witnesses everything that will happen to Mankind until the Great Flood.
Adam is upset by this vision of the future, so Michael tells him about Mankind's potential redemption from original sin through Jesus Christ. Adam and Eve are cast out of Eden, Michael says that Adam may find "a
Valmiki is celebrated as the harbinger-poet in Sanskrit literature. The epic Ramayana, dated variously from 5th century BCE to first century BCE, is attributed to him, based on the attribution in the text itself, he is revered as the first poet, author of Ramayana, the first epic poem. Ramayana written by Valmiki, consists of 24,000 shlokas and 7 cantos including Uttara Kanda. Ramayana is composed of about 480,002 words, being a quarter of the length of the full text of the Mahabharata or about four times the length of the Iliad; the Ramayana tells the story of a prince, Rama of the city of Ayodhya in the Kingdom of Kosala, whose wife Sita is abducted by Ravana, the demon-king of Lanka. The Valmiki Ramayana is dated variously from 500 BCE to 100 BCE or about co-eval with early versions of the Mahabharata; as with many traditional epics, it has gone through a process of interpolations and redactions, making it impossible to date accurately. British satirist Aubrey Menen says that Valmiki was, "recognized as a literary genius," and thus was considered, "an outlaw," because of his, "philosophic scepticism," as part of an "Indian Enlightenment" period.
Valmiki is quoted to be the contemporary of Rama. Menen claims Valmiki is, "the first author in all history to bring himself into his own composition." Rama interacted with him. Valmiki gave shelter to Sita in his hermitage. Kusha and Lava, the twin sons of Shri Rama were born to Sita in this hermitage. Valmiki taught Ramayana to Kusha and Lava, who sang the divine story in Ayodhya during the Ashwamedha yajna congregation, to the pleasure of the audience, King Rama questioned who they were and visited Valmiki's hermitage to confirm if Sita, the two children claimed as their mother was in fact his wife in exile, he summoned them to his royal palace. Kusha and Lava sang the story of Rama there and Rama confirmed that whatever had been sung by these two children was true. Valmiki was born as Agni Sharma to a Brahmin named Pracheta of Bhrigu gotra, According to legend he once met the great sage Narada and had a discourse with him on his duties. Moved by Narada's words, Agni Sharma began to perform penance and chanted the word "Mara" which meant "kill".
As he performed his penance for several years, the word became "Rama", the name of Lord Vishnu. Huge anthills formed around Agni Sharma and this earned him the name of Valmiki. Agni Sharma, rechristened as Valmiki, learnt the scriptures from Narada and became the foremost of ascetics, revered by everyone. Valmiki was going to the river Ganges for his daily ablutions. A disciple by the name Bharadwaja was carrying his clothes. On the way, they came across the Tamasa Stream. Looking at the stream, Valmiki said to his disciple, "Look, how clear is this water, like the mind of a good man! I will bathe here today." When he was looking for a suitable place to step into the stream, he saw a crane couple mating. Valmiki felt pleased on seeing the happy birds. Hit by an arrow, the male bird died on the spot. Filled by sorrow, its mate died of shock. Valmiki's heart melted at this pitiful sight, he looked around to find out. He saw a hunter with arrows, nearby. Valmiki became angry, his lips opened and he cried out, मा निषाद प्रतिष्ठां त्वमगमः शाश्वतीः समाः। यत्क्रौञ्चमिथुनादेकमवधीः काममोहितम्॥' mā niṣāda pratiṣṭhā tvamagamaḥ śāśvatīḥ samāḥ yat krauñcamithunādekam avadhīḥ kāmamohitamYou will find no rest for the long years of Eternity For you killed a bird in love and unsuspecting Emerging spontaneously from Valmiki's rage and grief, this is considered to be the first shloka in Sanskrit literature.
Valmiki composed the entire Ramayana with the blessings of Lord Brahma in the same meter that issued forth from him as the shloka. Thus this shloka is revered as the first shloka in Hindu literature. Valmiki is revered as Ramayana, the first kavya, his first disciples to whom he taught the Ramayana were Kusha and Lava, the sons of Rama: प्रचेत्सोऽहं दशमः पुत्रो राघवनंन्दन | न स्मराम्यनृतं वाक्यमिमौ तु तव पुत्रकौ || 96:16In another verse, it is stated that he is from the lineage of the sage Bhargava: संनिबद्धं हि श्लोकानां चतुर्विंशत्सहस्रकम् | उपाख्यानशतं चैव भार्गवेण तपस्विना || 94:24 Vishnudharmottara Purana says that Valmiki was born in the Treta Yuga as a form of Brahma who composed Ramayana and that people desirious of earning knowledge should worship Valmiki. He was reincarnated as Tulsidas, who composed the Ramcharitamanas, the Awadhi-Hindi version of the Ramayana. An area in Chennai, Tiruvanmiyur is believed to derive its name from Sage Valmiki, Thiru-Valmiki-Oor. There is a temple for Valmiki located in this place, believed to be 1300 years old.
Also: Shree Valmiki Mata Maha Samsthana in Rajanahalli, Karnataka In 1963, Valmiki, a Kannada movie, was made, starring Dr Rajkumar. Balmiki caste Balmiki sect Chuhra Shri Rama Quotations related to Valmiki at Wikiquote Media related to Valmiki at Wikimedia Commons Works written by or about Valmiki at Wikisource Works by Valmiki at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Valmiki at Internet Archive Works by Valmiki at LibriVox
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library that serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States; the Library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C.. The Library's functions are overseen by the Librarian of Congress, its buildings are maintained by the Architect of the Capitol; the Library of Congress has claimed to be the largest library in the world. Its "collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages."The Library of Congress moved to Washington in 1800 after sitting for 11 years in the temporary national capitals in New York City and Philadelphia. The small Congressional Library was housed in the United States Capitol for most of the 19th century until the early 1890s. Most of the original collection had been destroyed by the British in 1814 during the War of 1812, the library sought to restore its collection in 1815.
They bought Thomas Jefferson's entire personal collection of 6,487 books. After a period of slow growth, another fire struck the Library in its Capitol chambers in 1851, again destroying a large amount of the collection, including many of Jefferson's books. After the American Civil War, the Library of Congress grew in both size and importance, which sparked a campaign to purchase replacement copies for volumes, burned; the Library received the right of transference of all copyrighted works to deposit two copies of books, maps and diagrams printed in the United States. It began to build its collections, its development culminated between 1888 and 1894 with the construction of a separate, extensive library building across the street from the Capitol; the Library's primary mission is to research inquiries made by members of Congress, carried out through the Congressional Research Service. The Library is open to the public, although only high-ranking government officials and Library employees may check out books and materials.
James Madison is credited with the idea of creating a congressional library, first making such a proposition in 1783. The Library of Congress was subsequently established April 24, 1800 when President John Adams signed an act of Congress providing for the transfer of the seat of government from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington. Part of the legislation appropriated $5,000 "for the purchase of such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress... and for fitting up a suitable apartment for containing them." Books were ordered from London, the collection consisted of 740 books and three maps which were housed in the new United States Capitol. President Thomas Jefferson played an important role in establishing the structure of the Library of Congress. On January 26, 1802, he signed a bill that allowed the president to appoint the Librarian of Congress and establishing a Joint Committee on the Library to regulate and oversee it; the new law extended borrowing privileges to the President and Vice President.
The invading British army burned Washington in August 1814 during the War of 1812 and destroyed the Library of Congress and its collection of 3,000 volumes. These volumes had been left in the Senate wing of the Capitol. One of the few congressional volumes to survive was a government account book of receipts and expenditures for 1810, it was taken as a souvenir by British Admiral George Cockburn, whose family returned it to the United States government in 1940. Within a month, Thomas Jefferson offered to sell his personal library as a replacement. Congress accepted his offer in January 1815; some members of the House of Representatives opposed the outright purchase, including New Hampshire Representative Daniel Webster who wanted to return "all books of an atheistical and immoral tendency." Jefferson had spent 50 years accumulating a wide variety of books in several languages and on subjects such as philosophy, law, architecture, natural sciences, studies of classical Greece and Rome, modern inventions, hot air balloons, submarines, fossils and meteorology.
He had collected books on topics not viewed as part of a legislative library, such as cookbooks. However, he believed, he remarked: I do not know that it contains any branch of science which Congress would wish to exclude from their collection. Jefferson's collection was unique in that it was the working collection of a scholar, not a gentleman's collection for display. With the addition of his collection, the Library of Congress was transformed from a specialist's library to a more general one, his original collection was organized into a scheme based on Francis Bacon's organization of knowledge. He grouped his books into Memory and Imagination, which broke down into 44 more subdivisions; the Library followed Jefferson's organization scheme until the late 19th century, when librarian Herbert Putnam began work on a more flexible Library of Congress Classification structure that now applies to more than 138 million items. In 1851, a fire destroyed two thirds of the Jefferson collection, with only 2,000 books remaining.
By 2008, the Librarians of Congress had found replacements for all but 300 of the works that were in Jefferson's original collection. On December 22, 1851 the largest fire in the Library's history destroyed 35,000 books, about two–thi
One Thousand and One Nights
One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age. It is known in English as the Arabian Nights, from the first English-language edition, which rendered the title as The Arabian Nights' Entertainment; the work was collected over many centuries by various authors and scholars across West and South Asia and North Africa. Some tales themselves trace their roots back to ancient and medieval Arabic, Indian, Greek and Turkish folklore and literature. In particular, many tales were folk stories from the Abbasid and Mamluk eras, while others the frame story, are most drawn from the Pahlavi Persian work Hezār Afsān, which in turn relied on Indian elements. What is common throughout all the editions of the Nights is the initial frame story of the ruler Shahryār and his wife Scheherazade and the framing device incorporated throughout the tales themselves; the stories proceed from this original tale. Some editions contain only a few hundred nights.
The bulk of the text is in prose, although verse is used for songs and riddles and to express heightened emotion. Most of the poems are single quatrains, although some are longer; some of the stories associated with The Nights, in particular "Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp", "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves", "The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor", were not part of The Nights in its original Arabic versions but were added to the collection by Antoine Galland and other European translators. The main frame story concerns Shahryār, whom the narrator calls a "Sasanian king" ruling in "India and China". Shahryār is shocked to learn. In his bitterness and grief, he decides. Shahryār begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonor him; the vizier, whose duty it is to provide them, cannot find any more virgins. Scheherazade, the vizier's daughter, offers herself as the next bride and her father reluctantly agrees. On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade does not end it.
The king, curious about how the story ends, is thus forced to postpone her execution in order to hear the conclusion. The next night, as soon as she finishes the tale, she begins another one, the king, eager to hear the conclusion of that tale as well, postpones her execution once again; this goes on for one one nights, hence the name. The tales vary widely: they include historical tales, love stories, comedies, poems and various forms of erotica. Numerous stories depict jinns, apes, sorcerers and legendary places, which are intermingled with real people and geography, not always rationally. Common protagonists include the historical Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid, his Grand Vizier, Jafar al-Barmaki, the famous poet Abu Nuwas, despite the fact that these figures lived some 200 years after the fall of the Sassanid Empire, in which the frame tale of Scheherazade is set. Sometimes a character in Scheherazade's tale will begin telling other characters a story of his own, that story may have another one told within it, resulting in a richly layered narrative texture.
The different versions have different individually detailed endings but they all end with the king giving his wife a pardon and sparing her life. The narrator's standards for what constitutes a cliffhanger seem broader than in modern literature. While in many cases a story is cut off with the hero in danger of losing his life or another kind of deep trouble, in some parts of the full text Scheherazade stops her narration in the middle of an exposition of abstract philosophical principles or complex points of Islamic philosophy, in one case during a detailed description of human anatomy according to Galen—and in all these cases turns out to be justified in her belief that the king's curiosity about the sequel would buy her another day of life; the history of the Nights is complex and modern scholars have made many attempts to untangle the story of how the collection as it exists came about. Robert Irwin summarises their findings: In the 1880s and 1890s a lot of work was done on the Nights by Zotenberg and others, in the course of which a consensus view of the history of the text emerged.
Most scholars agreed that the Nights was a composite work and that the earliest tales in it came from India and Persia. At some time in the early 8th century, these tales were translated into Arabic under the title Alf Layla, or'The Thousand Nights'; this collection formed the basis of The Thousand and One Nights. The original core of stories was quite small. In Iraq in the 9th or 10th century, this original core had Arab stories added to it—among them some tales about the Caliph Harun al-Rashid. From the 10th century onwards independent sagas and story cycles were added to the compilation Then, from the 13th century onwards, a further layer of stories was add
The Mouse Turned into a Maid
The mouse turned into a maid is an ancient fable of Indian origin that travelled westwards to Europe during the Middle Ages and exists in the Far East. The story is Aarne-Thompson type 2031C in his list of cumulative tales, another example of, The Husband of the Rat's Daughter, it concerns a search for a partner through a succession of more powerful forces, resolved only by choosing an equal. The fable’s Classical analogue is Aesop's Fable of "Venus and the Cat", in which a man appeals to the goddess Venus to change his cat into a woman; this fable has the impossibility of changing character. It has received many treatments in literature and the arts; the story found in the Panchatantra relates how a mouse drops from the beak of a bird of prey into the hands of a holy man, who turns it into a girl and brings her up as his own. He seeks a powerful marriage for her but discovers at each application that there is one more powerful: thus the cloud can cover the sun, the wind blows the clouds about but is resisted by the mountain.
Since the girl feels the call of like to like in this case, she is changed back to her original form and goes to live with her husband in his hole. The fable was translated into Pahlavi and into Arabic, but before a version of any of these works had reached Europe the fable appeared in Marie de France's Ysopet as a cautionary tale against social climbing through marrying above one's station; the creature involved is an ambitious field mouse who applies to the sun for the hand of his daughter. He is sent on to a cloud, the wind, a tower, the mouse that undermines it, to the humbling of his aspirations; the theme of keeping to one's class reappears in a Romanian folk variant in which a rat sets out to pay God a visit. He applies to the sun and to clouds for directions. A less harsh judgement is exhibited in Japanese and Korean variants where the father seeking a powerful match for his daughter is sent round the traditional characters of sun and wind, only to discover that he too has his place on the ladder of power.
All these are animal fables. In the Japanese case a rat is involved and in the Korean a mole; the version in La Fontaine's Fables, "The Mouse Metamorphosed into a Maid", acknowledges the story's Indian origin by making it a Brahmin who fosters the mouse and gives it back the body it had in a former birth. La Fontaine feigns shock at all this and finds at the story's culmination, in which the girl falls in love with the burrowing rat at the mere mention of its name, an argument to confound the Eastern fabulist's beliefs: In all respects and weigh'd, The souls of men and souls of mice Quite different are made - Unlike in sort as well as size; each fills its destined part As Heaven doth well provide. The fable’s philosophical theme inspired the American poet Marianne Moore to a wry and idiosyncratic recreation in her version of La Fontaine: We are what we were at birth, each trait has remained in conformity with earth's and with heaven's logic: Be the devil's tool, resort to black magic, None can diverge from the ends which Heaven foreordained.
This in turn was set for unaccompanied soprano by the British composer Alexander Goehr in 1993. The fable was the subject of Print 90 in Marc Chagall's set of 100 etchings of La Fontaine's work executed between 1927 and 1930; the Indian fable's western equivalent is the story of "Venus and the Cat", which goes back to Classical times and is given the moral that nature is stronger than nurture. It figures as number 50 in the Perry Index and its many versions feature a cat turned into a woman by the goddess, who tests her on the wedding night by introducing a mouse into the bedchamber. In the Greek version by Babrius, however, it is a weasel that falls in love with a man and begs Aphrodite to change her into a human, but goes chasing after a mouse in the middle of the marriage feast. In ancient times it was speculated that the Greek proverb ‘a saffron robe does not suit a weasel’ was connected with the fable and has much the same meaning that one’s underlying nature does not change with circumstances.
When the fable was related by Hieronymus Osius in a New Latin poem, nearly half of it was taken up by a consideration of basic unchangeability, the sense being echoed by internal rhyme and assonance: "Difficult to elicit, illicit,/ change where nature’s innate". During the troubled political situation at the time the edition of Aesop's fables illustrated by Francis Barlow was published, Aphra Behn gave a sly Royalist tilt to her summing up of the tale’s meaning: "Ill principles no mercy can reclaime,/ And once a Rebell still will be the same". In both these versions a young man besotted with his pet cat prays to the goddess to make the change so that they can marry; the fable in the Barlow volume has two different titles. On the illustration appears the English "The young man and his cat", while in the Latin explanatory text it reads De Cata in Fœminam mutate. Jean de la Fontaine wrote a separate version of this fable under the title "The cat changed into a woman", in which he gave the theme of change an extended, thoughtful treatment: So great is stubborn nature's force.
In mockery of change, the old Will keep their youthful bent. When once the cloth has got its fold, The smelling-pot its scent, In vain your efforts and your care
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