Blake, Myth, and Enlightenment: The Politics of Apotheosis by David Fallon

By David Fallon

This publication presents compelling new readings of William Blake’s poetry and artwork, together with the 1st sustained account of his visionary work of Pitt and Nelson. It specializes in the recurrent motif of apotheosis, either as a determine of political authority to be demystified but additionally as a picture of utopian hazard. It reevaluates Blake’s dating to Enlightenment proposal, fable, faith, and politics, from The French Revolution to Jerusalem and The Laocoön. The e-book combines cautious realization to cultural and old contexts with shut readings of the texts and designs, delivering an cutting edge account of Blake’s artistic variations of Enlightenment, classical, and Christian inspiration.

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42. Porter, Enlightenment, 258. 43. See, for example, Damrosch, Symbol and Truth, esp. 165–243 and 287–92 and for a balanced judgement, Connolly, Blake and the Body, 197. See especially the introductions to Queer Blake (2010) and Sexy Blake (2013), both edited by Helen P. Bruder and Tristanne Connolly. 45. i–iv. See also Gay, Enlightenment, 82–83, 225, 306. 46. Outram, Enlightenment, 2. 47. Barnett, Enlightenment and Religion. For English clerical (especially Latitudinarian) input into Enlightenment thought, see Young, Religion and Enlightenment.

His mythological mode represents divine-right kingship as monstrous tyranny. Blake’s association between kings and apotheosis is also suggested in his annotations to his 1798 edition of Francis Bacon’s Essays. Bacon asserts that ‘The motions of factions under Kings, ought to be like the motions […] of the inferior orbs’ which are carried ‘by the higher motion of the “primum mobile”’. Alert to the slippage between God and the monarch in this simile, Blake quips that ‘King James was Bacons Primum Mobile’ (E632).

Apotheosis. Spence, Polymetis, 42. 5. Ferber, ‘Blake’s America’, 77. See, for example, Damon, BD 386 and Frye, FS 262. See also Worrall, ‘The “Immortal Tent”’, and Miner ‘Visionary Astronomy’, Squibbs, ‘Preventing the Star-Led Wizards’. See, for example, Hagstrum, ‘William Blake Rejects the Enlightenment’. Frye FS 161. For an important critique, see Hobson, ‘The Myth of Blake’s “Orc Cycle”’. Raine, Blake and Antiquity, 17. 10. Jameson, Political Unconscious, 68–69. 11. , 70. 12. BPAE 212. 13.

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