Thinking Through Blake

Essays in Literary Contrariety


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About the Book

A seminal figure in Romantic poetry and visual arts, William Blake continues to influence modern literary criticism. In this book, Blake scholar Hazard Adams presents a selection of essays that span his long career exploring the work and thought of the groundbreaking artist. Topics range from the symbolic form in Blake’s poem Jerusalem, the world view of Blake in relation to cultural policy and the notion of contrariety in Blake’s writings to the relation of Chinese literary thought to that of the West, the critical work of Northrop Frye and Murray Krieger and the cultural and academic status of the humanities. The essays chart the evolution of Adams’ own neo–Blakean literary thought over the past four decades, chronicling an effort to seek not merely a method but a philosophical base for the practice of literary criticism.

About the Author(s)

The late Hazard Adams was professor emeritus at the University of Washington’s department of comparative literature. He was known internationally as a scholar of William Blake, W.B. Yeats, Joyce Cary, and the history of criticism. He lived in Shelton, Washington.

Bibliographic Details

Hazard Adams
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: notes, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7958-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1573-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Notes on the Text viii
Introduction, Which Could Be a Conclusion 1
Blake, Jerusalem, and Symbolic Form (1975) 17
Contemporary Ideas of Literature: Terrible Beauty or Rough Beast? (1977) 40
Essay on Frye (1991) 65
Reynolds, Vico, Blackwell, Blake: The Fate of Allegory (1993) 70
The ­World-View of William Blake in Relation to Cultural Policy (1993) 86
Conference 2: Chinese and ­Japanese-American Literary Relations (1994) 98
Is (Was) There No Tradition of Defense of Poetry in Chinese Culture? Why Has There Had to Be One in the West? (1995) 108
Four Problems (Among Many) for Humanistic Thought (1995) 122
“Literature” and the Visionary Tradition (1995) 127
“Literature” into “Ecriture”? (1995) 131
“An Antithetical Turn” (1996) 134
Ekphrasis Revisited, or Antitheticality Reconstructed (2000) 148
Quest and Cycle (2005) 161
Origin(ality) (2007) 165
The Marriage of Imagination and Intellect (2013) 171
Chapter Notes 183
Index 191