Blake On Language, Power, And Self-Annihilation

Hardcover | June 21, 2010

byJ. Jones

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Against a historical backdrop that includes eighteenth-century language theory, children's literature and education, debates on the French Revolution, Biblical interpretation, and print culture, Blake on Language, Power, and Self-Annihilation breaks new ground in the study of William Blake. This book analyzes the concept of self-annihilation in Blake’s work, using the language theories of Mikhail Bakhtin to elucidate the ways in which his discourse was open to the viewpoints of others, undermines institutional authority, and restores dialogue. This book not only uncovers the importance of self-annihilation to Blake's thinking about language and communication, but it also develops its centrality to Blake's poetic practice.

 

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Against a historical backdrop that includes eighteenth-century language theory, children's literature and education, debates on the French Revolution, Biblical interpretation, and print culture, Blake on Language, Power, and Self-Annihilation breaks new ground in the study of William Blake. This book analyzes the concept of self-annihi...

John H. Jones is Associate Professor of English at Jacksonville State University.  He is the author of two articles on Blake and a chapter on Blake and book production in Palgrave Advances in William Blake Studies, edited by Nicholas M. Williams.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:250 pages, 8.5 × 5.51 × 0.02 inPublished:June 21, 2010Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan USLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230622356

ISBN - 13:9780230622357

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Table of Contents

Introduction: "Otherness as Origin" * Blakean Inspiration and "Self-Annihilation” * The Discourse of "Selfhood" * Self-Annihilation and Dialogic "Inspiration" * Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Contrary States, Conflicting Voices * The Marriage of Heaven and Hell: Dialogue and "Imposition" * The [First] Book of Urizen: The Problem of Authorial Selfhood * Milton: The Annihilation of Authorial Selfhood * Jerusalem: The Reader and Self-Annihilation * The Annihilation of Authorial Selfhood in Jerusalem * Conclusion: The Irony of Self-Annihilation 

Editorial Reviews

“This lucidly written book is a welcome contribution to the dialogue about Blake and language. Jones’ insightful close readings are doubly enriched by eighteenth-century discourses and by a Bakhtinian vision of the effects of language on consciousness and relationships. Blake on Language, Power, and Self-Annihilation moves through Blake’s oeuvre to explore the interrelated themes of monologism, dialogism, selfhood, and imposition, and culminates in a particularly fine reading of Jerusalem. Bringing Blake’s representations of inspiration, authorship, and the role of the reader into relation with his concept of self-annihilation, this study advances our understanding of the potencies and potentialities of language in Blake’s work.”—Angela Esterhammer, University of Zurich“This crucial book sheds new light on Blake's complex concepts of authorship, inspiration, and what the poet repeatedly refers to as ‘Self-Annihilation.’ It also stands out as one of the few studies to apply recent theories concerning Blake's artistic and production methods. The result is a series of superb readings that illuminate the evolution of Blake's oeuvre, from the Songs to Jerusalem.”--Michael Macovski, Georgetown University