Queering as Critical Practice in Reading Paradise Lost
Thomas H. Luxon’s “Queering as Critical Practice in Reading Paradise Lost” points to several ways Milton’s verse appears to invite queer reading practices. His piece focuses on Paradise Lost. Paradise Lost’s engagement with the origins of human sexuality establishes what Luxon calls “the (il)logic of the supplement,” by which the Genesis account of creation is recast as a supplement to the pre-beginning beings and places found in Milton’s epic. These pre-first entities introduce contradictions and paradoxes that encourage queer interpretation. Mining these moments and their investments in analogy and allusion, Luxon shows that the poem’s representations of marriage and sexual difference, in the context of God’s perfect solitude and/versus Man’s imperfect solitude, exemplifies one prominent strain of counter-normative poetics undermining biblical orthodoxy.