Blakes Critique of Transcendence: Love, Jealousy, and the Sublime in The Four Zoas

Hardcover | October 1, 2000

byPeter Otto

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Blake's Critique of Transcendence is the first full-length book to examine in any detail or consistency the relation between Blake's text and the visual designs in The Four Zoas, one of the most important works in Blake's oeuvre. It uncovers a Blake deeply engaged with the cultural discoursesof his time, in profound dialogue with Swedenborg, Locke, and Young. In the course of this conversation, Blake anatomizes a remarkable variety of cultural practices (including religion, science, and art) designed to achieve transcendence. He focuses in particular on the fate of the body in culturesof transcendence, developing perhaps the first theory of sexual sublimation. Blake's radical visual and verbal strategies in this poem are part of an attempt to defer the movement of transcendence, long enough for the reader to see the warring elements of the fallen world as the dismembered body ofhumanity.

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Blake's Critique of Transcendence is the first full-length book to examine in any detail or consistency the relation between Blake's text and the visual designs in The Four Zoas, one of the most important works in Blake's oeuvre. It uncovers a Blake deeply engaged with the cultural discoursesof his time, in profound dialogue with Swede...

Peter Otto is Senior Lecturer in English, University of Melbourne

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:388 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:October 1, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019818719X

ISBN - 13:9780198187196

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Table of Contents

List of PlatesKey to ReferencesAbbreviationsIntroductionThe Rhetoric of Transcendence1. Blake, Blake criticism and the sublime2. Reason's heaven and the body's hellFalling into a World of Los(s)3. The birth of Los(s) from Tharmas4. Urizen's world of Los(s)5. A cacophony of voices6. Building a Swedenborgian heavenBuilding the Fallen World7. The elaboration of Los(s)Reason's Struggle against the Flesh8. Urizen explores his dens9. Flesh and spirit10. A sensitive bodyThe End and the Beginning of History11. Death of the body / liberation of the spirit12. The Last JudgmentBibliographyIndex