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Category Archives: Empire vs. Revolution (10/2)
We discussed in class today Blake’s controversial representation of female rape in the “Argument” to Visions of the Daughters of Albion. Just because we read Blake retrospectively as a “genius” does not mean we should let him off the hook for his sexist representation of female rape: Oothoon plucks “Leutha’s flower,” asserted her feminine sexual identity by […] Continue reading
In class on Wednesday, I had difficultly reconciling the apocalyptic revolution depicted in “A Song of Liberty” with its abrupt, triumphant ending. The poem’s allusions to the Book of Revelation notwithstanding, “Empire is no more! and now the lion & the wolf shall cease” is a very simplistic resolution to the violence, conflict and chaos of […] Continue reading
Today in class students have made some progress in understanding Blake’s political views in the context of the 1790s. We concluded that Blake does not fit the political categories of “Left” and “Right,” problematizing this contrary itself, and adopts the biblical language of apocalypse/the Second coming to articulate his utopian vision while deviating from the standard […] Continue reading
For Edmund Burke, the French Revolution represented an inversion and usurpation of natural order (at the very least a dismantling of the benign illusions thereof), a loss of the restraints and checks on mankind’s more bestial drives. However, for Blake, it was genuinely apocalyptic—in the sense it offered revelation, the casting off of fetters and […] Continue reading
For this particular post, I want to elaborate on Anna’s post from last week. In it, she discusses Blake’s use of Moravian themes in the last Memorable Fancy. Anna’s post can be found here: http://williamblakeandenlightenmentmedia.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/blake-zinzendorf-nuns-et-al/ Anna claims that in this Memorable Fancy, “we see a typical motif of Blake’s work by connecting obedience to restricting […] Continue reading
I think without a doubt, we have all come to the conclusion that Blake is a confusing character. Thus, in attempting to understand Blake’s position in regard to the French Revolution, it is again a challenge. After reading from Paine, Burke, and Price, each author takes a firm position in regard to the revolution, like […] Continue reading
In his marginal comments to Watson’s An Apology for the Bible, Blake considers Paine’s secular enlightenment assault on revealed religion to be the work of “either a Devil or an Inspired Man” (456). He also notes that “Paine is a better Christian than the Bishop” (460). For next Wednesday (10/2), write a post that reflects on […] Continue reading