Toni Morrison: can we find paradise on Earth?

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The idea of paradise is no longer imaginable or, rather, it is overimagined, which amounts to the same thing — and has therefore become familiar, commercialised, even trivial. Historically, the images of paradise in poetry and prose were intended to be grand but accessible, beyond the routine but imaginatively graspable, seductive as though remembered. Milton speaks of “goodliest trees, loaden with fairest fruit, Blossoms and fruits at once of golden hue… with gay enamelled colours mixed…; of Native perfumes.” Of “that sapphire fount the crisped brooks, Rolling on orient pearl and sands of gold…” of “nectar visiting each plant, and fed flowers worthy of Paradise… Groves whose rich trees wept odorous gums and balm; Others whose fruit, burnished with golden rind, Hung amiable… of delicious taste. Betwixt them lawns, or level downs, and flocks Grazing the tender herb.” “Flowers of all hue and without thorn the rose.” “Caves of cool recess, o’er which the mantling vine Lays forth her purple grape and gently creeps Luxuriant …”

Read the whole entry: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/hay-festival/10848569/Toni-Morrison-can-we-find-paradise-on-Earth.html

Toni Morrison on love, loss and modernity (Toni Morrison believes that divorce is good for you, that Viagra should be banned, and that reality TV shows are little more than modern-day ‘lynchings’. And when she talks, presidents listen) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/authorinterviews/9395051/Toni-Morrison-on-love-loss-and-modernity.html