top of page

Gypsy Scholar


Brainstorming about history, politics, literature, religion, and other topics from a 'gypsy' scholar on a wagon hitched to a star.


Terrance Lindall on "Satan and Sin"


From an email this morning, I see that the artist Terrance Lindall is making progress on his Elephant Folio for Paradise Lost. He sends the above image of "Satan and Sin" and opens his email with a quote from Paradise Lost:

"And all amid them stood the tree of life, High eminent, blooming ambrosial fruit Of vegetable gold; and next to life Our death the tree of knowledge grew fast by, Knowledge of good bought dear by knowing ill." ~John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book IV

Lindall doesn't precisely specify why he chose this quote -- lines 218-222 -- but I infer from what he does say that he's linking the Earthly Fall alluded to in this quote to the earlier, Celestial Fall of Satan, both being instances of knowledge attained at a very steep price, so steep that one cannot avoid a fall. Anyway, here is what Lindall does tell us:

So here is the border for "Enamoured." Unlike the Worm Ouroboros that has his tail in his mouth, The Infernal Serpent has heads at both ends and the serpent kisses himself with tongues entwined (rather sexual). Exorbitant self love is Satan's downfall. He wanted God's love, he resented God's love of the Son. His PRIDE was hurt. He only thought of and really cared about his own selfish grandeur. Here he makes love to Sin, his own creation, part of (an aspect of) himself. He is engaged in incest, if you consider Sin his daughter, or he is making love to himself, if you consider Sin a part of his own being.

Lindall is riffing off James 1:15:

Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

But Lindall also has John Milton's own interpretation in mind (cf. Paradise Lost 2:746-814). And here's where Lindall offers food for my thoughts on the possible link between the two falls mentioned above:

At the bottom panel the serpent's body penetrates the apple (representing knowledge) that is also a heart (symbolic of love). Again this penetration is sexual, of desire . . . for both love and knowledge . . . knowledge of Sin in this case.

The Serpent's body also spouts hearts and apples out of his body yielding deadly desire and deadly knowledge.

Here's a detail from the "Satan and Sin" image above:

You can check out this project here: Elephant Folio Paradise Lost.

Labels: John MiltonParadise LostTerrance Lindall


posted by Horace Jeffery Hodges @ 9:16 AM   16 comments 


At 2:41 PM,  ilTassista Marino said...

>he's linking the Earthly Fall (...) to the earlier, Celestial Fall of Satan

see Blake, who described Satan's Fall as the strife among the four cosmic Zoas --- who are, in their turn, the basic constituents of Man.

At 2:45 PM,  Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Sounds astrological . . .

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 3:04 PM,  ilTassista Marino said...

Gnostic, indeed. Your (battle) field.

At 3:30 PM,  Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

True, the Gnostics believed in astrology, but so did just about everybody in the past . . .

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 5:13 PM,  ilTassista Marino said...

In Blake, however, it was not so much about astrology: the "cosmic powers" were not strictly the stars, but the fundamental energies at work in the universe, in the human psyche (Imagination) and God himself.

At 5:25 PM,  Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Starring . . . the fundamental energies of the universe!

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 6:57 PM,  ilTassista Marino said...

*star-ed out*

you win!


At 7:04 PM,  ilTassista Marino said...

Back to the pic: Terrance's Sin reminds me of the late Italian porn "star" Moana Pozzi...

("late" not because she stopped, but because she suddently died some years ago, unless it was a way to "vanish")

At 7:22 PM,  Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I win? Or you do . . .

As for the follow-up comment . . . I'm not so up to date with porn stars, not even Italian ones!

I do recall that there was one nicknamed "The Little Fleshpot" who married the kitsch pop-artist Jeff Koons and ran for political office.

Was she also a protégée of Burlesque-cuni?

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 8:38 PM,  ilTassista Marino said...

That was, and already is, Cicciolina (Ilona Staller) who is of Hungarian origins, tho she 'counts as' Italian. She DID run for it, and she DID briefly become a Parliament member. Now her main activity is to fight against her former husband.

Gee, Milton always proves a very interesting subject for a conversation!

At 8:41 PM,  ilTassista Marino said...

Was she also a protégée of Burlesque-cuni?

Oh, no, she is too old for that!

At 10:29 PM,  Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Good to know that the honorable prime minister has limits, unlike perhaps DSK . . .

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 12:44 PM, said...

Satan and his willfully Sin! but some say: Satan or Beel-zebub, is ''the ruler of the demons,'' for us it was apparent that they make up his invisible organization!-according to Ephesians 6:12 and Mark 3:22, And then the sons(angels) of the true God
began to notice or ''peeping'' the daughters of men, that they were good looking or beautiful womens, and they(angels they materialized or transformation into earthly mens) went taking wives for themselves, namely, all whom they chose. then their son called ''Neph'i-lim'' when the sons(angels) of true God continued to have relations with the daughters of men and they bore sons to them, they were the mighty(giant and handsome) ones{Nephilim) who were of old, the men of fame(they are the original superstar!!! and fame!!! before Christ!)-Genesis6:2,4; these are the high-breed or Angels(sons of God) relations of daughter of men(earthly-soul)... for us these are about: Satan and Sin! We hope these are the effect of ''Tree of Knowledge of good & bad'' then we live in 666 Art World Domain!

At 12:53 PM,  Bienvenido Bones Banez Jr. said...

The Famous Serpent{Satan)and the seed
of serpent{666-Human-Ruler of the World) then our offspring desired from original sin!

At 1:33 PM,  Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I take it that this is what you're exploring in your art?

Jeffery Hodges

* * *

At 6:31 PM,  Bienvenido Bones Banez Jr. said...


Post a Comment

<< Home

About Me


Name: Horace Jeffery Hodges

Location: Seoul, South Korea

I am a retired professor. I last taught at Ewha Womans University, mostly composition, research writing, and cultural issues, but also the occasional graduate seminar on Gnosticism and Johannine theology and the occasional undergraduate course on European history. My doctorate is in history (U.C. Berkeley), with emphasis on religion and science. My thesis is on John's gospel and Gnosticism. I'm also an award-winning writer, and I recommend my novella, The Bottomless Bottle of Beer, to anyone interested. I'm originally from the Arkansas Ozarks, but my academic career -- funded through doctoral and postdoctoral fellowships (e.g., Fulbright, Naumann, Lady Davis) -- has taken me through Texas, California, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, and Israel and has landed me in Seoul, South Korea. I've also traveled to Mexico, visited much of Europe, including Moscow, and touched down briefly in a few East Asian countries. Hence: "Gypsy Scholar."

View my complete profile

Previous Posts

bottom of page