Informit article: Mining hell

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John Milton, ‘Paradise Lost’ and mining

In his incomplete – and probably incompletable – ‘Pandaemonium: The Coming of the Machine As Seen by Contemporary Observers, 1660-1886’, a book which takes its title and orientation from John Milton’s own neologism for the City of Hell, the English documentary filmmaker Humphrey Jennings asserts that ‘Pandaemonium is the Palace of All the Devils. Its building began c. 1660. It will never be finished – it has to be transformed into Jerusalem’. That Jennings, one of the founders of the Mass Observation movement and express influence upon the much-heralded 2012 London Olympic Ceremony, should make Milton’s satanic capital the emblem and foundation of his own investigations into the role of modern technology is no accident.

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