By Steve Clark, Tristanne Connolly, Jason Whittaker (eds.)
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Extra resources for Blake 2.0: William Blake in Twentieth-Century Art, Music and Culture
As Hugh J. Silverman suggests, such textual operations are the hallmark of modes of criticism rather than creativity: ‘As articulated here, the textual sublime is the concretization and thematization of deconstructive practices’ (xi), but Blake critics quite quickly supplemented this narrow view in the face of Blake’s illuminated canon, where one encounters ‘displacement’ (Miller 148) within and without. 7. This many-worlds hypothesis of quantum cosmology, associated with John Wheeler and Hugh Everett and well discussed by John Gribben, suggests that infinite splitting at the horizon of observation results in an accurate description of the universe.
During the first half of the twentieth century, Blake’s major poetry was still often dismissed as arcane or impossibly complex. 0 must be added that they agreed on little else. According to Frye, Blake is an apostle of Jesus the Imagination and his work a ‘new testament for English culture’ (407). Erdman’s Blake is a political activist, whose life and work provide an exemplary model for the ongoing struggle against empire (viii). 1 Nevertheless, armed with Keynes’s and Erdman’s collected editions and framed by these strong readings, Blake was for the first time in his posthumous career ripe for popular-cultural appropriation.
In Blake’s allegory, they pass from a stable to a church, from the church vault to a mill, and then on to a cave which leads them to the very edge of the ‘objective’ world, where ‘a void boundless as a nether sky’ opens beneath them (E41). As they gaze into this abyss, they see at first an ordered realm of confinement and punishment. But before long, hell is disturbed by Leviathan (revolutionary energy) who approaches, from the direction of Paris, ‘with all the fury of a spiritual existence’. This prompts the angel to retrace his steps; but as soon as he has turned his back, the narrator finds himself in a scene of innocence, ‘sitting on a pleasant bank beside a harper who sung to the harp.
Blake 2.0: William Blake in Twentieth-Century Art, Music and Culture by Steve Clark, Tristanne Connolly, Jason Whittaker (eds.)