Vintage DB 90: Amanda Earl’s “Paradise Lost: X Regained - one” and “- two,” DB 10

As one of the most widely revered works in literary history, Milton’s Paradise Lost has sparked the creation of countless others, from paintings, to poems, to entire novels. Even today we still manage to find new things to say about it, to draw meaning yet untold from a work that we’ve been examining for centuries. Amanda Earl’s pieces, “Paradise Lost: X Regained - one” and “Paradise Lost: X Regained - two” (published in DB 10, Spring 2009) have been selected as today’s vintage feature for her especially interesting perspective, a focus on the implications of how the letter X appears, or doesn’t appear, in Milton’s work, further explained by an excerpt from the artist’s statement:

“We read about the fall of man and angels, temptations to taste forbidden fruits. The letter x represents the idea of the forbidden as in x-rated; it is a temptation into the modern world of x-rays and narcotics such as X for Ecstasy, the unknown quantity in mathematical equations, in genetics, the X chromosome, in English, the pre-penultimate letter of the alphabet, the 21st century X-box, the post baby boom Generation X.

The words in the corpus for this project are words chosen for their reflection of the content and not their frequency per se. In the end in both pieces, we have letters inside words inside a letter, the missing x like darkness made visible as shape.”

Amanda Earl is the author of multiple chapbooks, including the brand new Queen Christina, published this month by Ghost City Press; Welcome to Earth: poem for alien(s); Kiki; and additional chapbooks Eleanor and The Sad Phoenician’s Other Woman, published by above/ground press in 2007/2008. Her poetry has also appeared in Rampike (Windsor, Ontario), the New Chief Tongue (Mt Pleasant, Ontario), fillingStation (Calgary, Alberta) and Van Gogh’s Ear(Paris, France). She has also penned an extensive collection of erotic stories, including her recent novel A World of Yes. She is the managing editor of and the Bywords Quarterly Journal, the curator of the new online annual magazine experiment-o and the founder and publisher of AngelHousePress. For more about all her amazing work visit her at

Click here to appreciate “Paradise Lost: X Regained - one” and “Paradise Lost: X Regained - two”

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