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)

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

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

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