Saturday, April 11, 2009

William Blake

Peter Marshall's short book William Blake: Visionary Anarchist is back in print. "...a lively and perceptive account of his thought, ranging from his philosophy, his critique of existing society and culture, to his vision of a free world." Available from the publishers & revamped Whitechapel bookshop Freedom books.

Also worth reading are Christine Gallant's article in the Summer 2008 issue of the Wordsworth Circle: "Blake's antislavery designs for Songs of Innocence and Experience" and the recently published Walking round Cambridge with William Blake: Auguries of Innocence illustrated by Rose Harries:

"William Blake's Auguries of Innocence is not an easy text, for despite the nursery-rhyme simplicity of couplets like

'A robin red breast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage',
the moral world he created is a difficult place to try to inhabit, even if only while reading. Like Shakespeare or Homer, though, each reading reveals new shades of meaning.

Rose Harries was a stranger to Blake's couplets until last year when she spent some time with them, then, wandering the streets of Cambridge, fitting her impressions of the poem with the modern scenes of street-life. Not surprisingly, her line drawings open the text in a new way, prompting the reader to a fresh view of a complex masterpiece."

Published in a small hand-printed edition by Incline Press: