William Blake: Modernity and Disaster

Edited by Tilottama Rajan and Joel Faflak

© 2020

William Blake: Modernity and Disaster explores the work of the Romantic writer, artist, and visionary William Blake as a profoundly creative response to cultural, scientific, and political revolution. In the wake of such anxieties of discovery, including the revolution in the life sciences, Blake’s imagination – often prophetic, apocalyptic, and deconstructive – offers an inside view of such tumultuous and catastrophic change.

A hybrid of text and image, Blake’s writings and illuminations offer a disturbing and productive exception to accepted aesthetic, social, and political norms. Accordingly, the essays in this volume, reflecting Blake’s unorthodox perspective, challenge past and present critical approaches in order to explore his oeuvre from multiple perspectives: literary studies, critical theory, intellectual history, science, art history, philosophy, visual culture, and psychoanalysis. Covering the full range of Blake’s output from the shorter prophecies to his final poems, the essays in William Blake: Modernity and Disaster predict the discontents of modernity by reading Blake as a prophetic figure alert to the ends of history. His legacy thus provides a lesson in thinking and living through the present in order to ask what it might mean to envision a different future, or any future at all.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 352 pages
  • Illustrations: 9
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP006365

  • PUBLISHED AUG 2020

    From: $67.50

    Regular Price: $90.00

    ISBN 9781487506568
  • AVAILABLE OCT 2020

    From: $67.50

    Regular Price: $90.00

Quick Overview

This is the first critical volume to examine William Blake as a visionary thinker on disaster and the advent of modernity.

William Blake: Modernity and Disaster

Edited by Tilottama Rajan and Joel Faflak

© 2020

William Blake: Modernity and Disaster explores the work of the Romantic writer, artist, and visionary William Blake as a profoundly creative response to cultural, scientific, and political revolution. In the wake of such anxieties of discovery, including the revolution in the life sciences, Blake’s imagination – often prophetic, apocalyptic, and deconstructive – offers an inside view of such tumultuous and catastrophic change.

A hybrid of text and image, Blake’s writings and illuminations offer a disturbing and productive exception to accepted aesthetic, social, and political norms. Accordingly, the essays in this volume, reflecting Blake’s unorthodox perspective, challenge past and present critical approaches in order to explore his oeuvre from multiple perspectives: literary studies, critical theory, intellectual history, science, art history, philosophy, visual culture, and psychoanalysis. Covering the full range of Blake’s output from the shorter prophecies to his final poems, the essays in William Blake: Modernity and Disaster predict the discontents of modernity by reading Blake as a prophetic figure alert to the ends of history. His legacy thus provides a lesson in thinking and living through the present in order to ask what it might mean to envision a different future, or any future at all.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 352 pages
  • Illustrations: 9
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    "William Blake: Modernity and Disaster is an excellent and extensive collection of essays that will be much used in Blake scholarship and beyond. The volume ranges across many different aspects of Blake’s life, work, and writings, and covers an astonishing array of topics: science, the visual, affect, modernity, religion, and many more. This heterogeneity speaks to the richness of Blake’s interests and works, which the scholars assembled here illuminate from a myriad of angles."


    Alexander Regier, Department of English, Rice University

    "William Blake: Modernity and Disaster offers perspectives on Blake that resist the recuperative strain that has always dominated Blake scholarship, and, in several essays, present Blake’s engagement with the sciences in richer, more complex ways than we’ve seen."  


    Karen Swann, Professor Emerita, Department of English, Williams College
  • Author Information

    Tilottama Rajan is a Canada Research Chair and distinguished university professor at Western University, the former Director of its Centre for Theory and Criticism, and the founder of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism.


    Joel Faflak is professor of English and Theory at Western University, where he was also the Inaugural Director of the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities.
  • Table of contents

    List of Illustrations
    Acknowledgments

    Introduction: From Prophecy to Disaster
    Tilottama Rajan and Joel Faflak

    1. Primitive Arts and Sciences and the Body of Knowledge in Blake’s Epics
    Noah Heringman

    2. System(s), Body, Corpus: The Autogenesis of Blake’s Lambeth Books
    Tilottama Rajan

    3. “Second Birth” and Gothic Fictions in Matthew Lewis’s The Monk, Catherine Blake’s “Agnes,” and William Blake’s Vala or The Four Zoas
    Peter Otto

    4. Blake’s Milton and the Disaster of Psychoanalysis
    Joel Faflak

    5. Blake’s Blush: Wartime Shame in “London” and Jerusalem
    Lily Gurton-Wachter

    6. Blake’s Nervous System: Hypochondria, Judaism, and Jerusalem
    Christopher Bundock

    7. Forgiving Blake’s Disaster: The Changing Face(s) of Science and “Govern-mentalized” Bodies of Knowledge
    Elizabeth Effinger

    8. Laboring With/In Disaster: Blake’s Workless Work in Jerusalem
    David Collings

    9. Nothing Lost: Blake and the New Materialism
    Steven Goldsmith

    10. Blake’s Decomposite Art: On the Image of Language and the Ruins of Representation
    David L. Clark

    11. Flea Trouble
    Jacques Khalip

    Bibliography
    Contributors
    Index

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