By: Kevin Grace
On the south parapet of Blegen Library are carved these words from John Milton’s Areopagitica written in 1644:
For books are not absolutely dead things
But do contain a potencie of life in them
To be as active as those whose progeny they are.
Milton (1608-1674) is one of the greatest poets and essayists in the English language. The quote, which is part of his work condemning censorship and pleading for free speech, is part of the architectural design in the library, which opened as the University of Cincinnati’s Main Library in 1930. Intended to inspire students and scholars, they are words meant both to establish the primacy of books and the written word in human culture and to draw the reader within the building to explore, to learn, to consider, and to share knowledge.
The Department of English and Comparative Literature sends this information for a lecture this Friday at 1:00 pm in 814 Blegen, the Schott Seminar Room in the Archives & Rare Books Library: Continue reading