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This report is taken from PN Review 197, Volume 37 Number 3, January - February 2011.

(or, Further Marginalia to Milton)
Frank Kuppner

Rather than struggle to make sense of the real Universe, he invented an imaginary one. (And then failed to make sense of that one too.)

Nothing really surprises me much these days, darling – except perhaps the entire Universe as such.

But surely anyone may attach the word ‘real’ to anything whatsoever?

While, to attribute life (or, indeed, any other mere detail) to ‘the Eternal’ is to utter an (absolute) absurdity.

As if that which somehow degenerates could ever really have been perfect in the first place!

The bedrock (the ultimate foundation) has to be inexplicable. For in the light of what else could Everything be explained? Any real universe (whatever it is) in that sense must be built on the unfathomable, the mysterious, the finally just indistinguishably there. (Which is to say, here. All right, Your Grace?)

Everything, much like everything else, is just one of these things. (Or perhaps just one of those things.)

One group of people who think they’ll more or less live forever insidiously replaces another group who thought they would live more or less forever. But this is just about the only way anything real could ever get done, I suppose – particularly in the Arts.

At this present rate, darling, I’m going to know a really fantastic amount about the Universe by the time I die! (Though I ...

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