The Hidden Sphere
(of Artistic Concerns) Cecil Orion Touchon

William Blake

The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake by William Blake, David V. Erdman (Editor), Harold Bloom, William Golding (Editor)

William Blake: The Complete Illuminated Books by David Bindman (Introduction), William Blake
Reviewer: from Pittsburgh, PA United States This book brings the words and images of Blake to brilliant life. The volume is gorgeous, and the colors extremely rich. Having read Blake's poetry in un-illuminated format before, I now am even more appreciative of the value of seeing the work as Blake originally intended. Blake is a marvelous poet and artist, and this collection of his illuminated work is a marvelous book. 

A Blake Dictionary : The Ideas and Symbols of William Blake by Morris Eaves (Editor), Samuel Foster Damon A BLAKE DICTIONARY offers compelling testament that there was methodology in Blake's madness. In addition to providing a detailed enunciation of virtually every character in Blake's poetry, Damon further offers an exposition of the major themes and symbols which Blake repeatedly returned to in his longer prophetic works. Along with both Northrop Frye's FEARFUL SYMMETRY and David Erdman's PROPHET AGAINST EMPIRE, Damon's meticulously cross-referenced dictionary is an essential reference work for anyone who dares delve into Blake's complex mythology.

Fearful Symmetry by Northrop Frye
"To say it is a magnificent, extraordinary book is to praise it as it should be praised, but in doing so one gives little idea of the huge scope of the book and of its fiery understanding . Several great poets have written of Blake, but this book, I believe, is the first to show the full magnitude of Blake's mind, its vast creative thought." -- Edith Sitwell, 'The Spectator'

                  "According as we agree or disagree with Mr. Frye's contention we shall decide finally on the supremacy of his book. In following the structure of Blake's total vision and relating it to the thought of his age he has triumphantly carried out a task which, given the giant shape of the material, cannot help being immense. His cadences, by sheer explanatory devotion, approach the sonorities of Blake's own." -- 'Times Literary Supplement'

                  "Frye conducts his ambitious study with unflagging energy, great enthusiasm, and immense erudition." -- 'Poetry'

                  "An intelligent and beautifully written critical interpretation of the poetry and symbolic thought of William Blake..." -- 'New Yorker'

The Stranger from Paradise : A Biography of William Blake by G.E. Bentley Jr.
Reviewer from eastern usa
                  The scholarship that works through this book is obviously one of love and devotion of many many years. Bentley's sorting out of events in Blake's life is amazingly well researched - it is the first Blake biography that does not have that usual blur of focus that leaves one more mystified than enlightened. Blake's contemporaries, friends, enemies, patrons, etc. are all given voice through their own extant letters, articles . . - this contextualizes him beautifully and clears the field of critical debris that has grown out over the centuries. In fact, it is Bentley's sober critical eye (of fairness) which is so refreshing - his sense of balance is impeccable. Only a lifetime lover of Blake could hit so consistently
true tones. But if you're arriving to this book looking for critical scholarship of the work and myth than you're walking through the wrong door. This book is not about the minutae of the work (see Northrop Frye for that) - it assumes already that one is also a lover and "understander" of the work. This book is about the man - written and informed, of course, by the man's work, but is a book about Blake's life - not a treatise on Urthona. Yes, I recommend this book.Walk on in and stroll around.

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copyright 2002 Cecil Touchon all rights reserved