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Thread: Best Writing on William Blake

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    The prophetic books are not simple. I dont understand them. They are too hArd. I've been trying to read them for almost 20 years, and failing. Why not try the marriage of heaven and hell. That's neither simple nor incomprehensible
    ive nailed these now. do that all day reading of Jerusalem for Blakes birthday really opened everything up for me.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    told ya
    I was so young then! So callow

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  4. #18
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    As Frye explains in an interview, Blake arrives for him in a revelation while he was a graduate student:

    Frye: ...I was assigned a paper on Blakeís Milton, one of his most difficult and complex poems, and started working on it the night before I was to read it. It was around three in the morning when suddenly the universe just broke open, and Iíve never been, as they say, the same since.

    Cayley: What was it? I know you canít describe the experience, but what was it in Blake that provoked this experience?

    Frye: Just the feeling of an enormous number of things making sense that had been scattered and unrelated before. In other words, it was a mytholog*ical frame taking hold.


    This in itself ramps up the weirdness level. Frye was not not the only author or Blake scholar whose insights into the prophet-poet were gained in a flash of vision. Allen Ginsberg, writing about the origins of the sixties counterculture, explains that S. Foster Damon, author of A Blake Dictionary and also a pioneer of Blake criticism, had his own Blakean revelation while tripping on peyote and stumbling wide-eyed across the Harvard green:

    One scholar who transmitted Blake's kabbalah, S. Foster Damon, can remember his sudden vision of tiny flowers carpeting Harvard Yard violet before World War One, an image that lingers over 60 years in mind since his fellow student Virgil Thomson gave him the cactus Peyote to eat. Damon concludes that rare beings like Blake are born with physiologic gift of such vision, continuous or intermittent.


    Added to all this is that Ginsberg also was inspired to continue his poetic explorations because of an auditory epiphany involving the voice of Blake. The master poet, seer of numerous visions, apparently also has the power to bestow visions from the beyond to those that deeply contemplate his work. Frye's Fearful Symmetry occasionally also takes on the tone of a channeled text.
    *

  5. #19
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