Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake by Northrop Frye

Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake

byNorthrop Frye

Paperback | April 21, 1969

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This brilliant outline of Blake's thought and commentary on his poetry comes on the crest of the current interest in Blake, and carries us further towards an understanding of his work than any previous study. Here is a dear and complete solution to the riddles of the longer poems, the so-called "Prophecies," and a demonstration of Blake's insight that will amaze the modern reader. The first section of the book shows how Blake arrived at a theory of knowledge that was also, for him, a theory of religion, of human life and of art, and how this rigorously defined system of ideas found expression in the complicated but consistent symbolism of his poetry. The second and third parts, after indicating the relation of Blake to English literature and the intellectual atmosphere of his own time, explain the meaning of Blake's poems and the significance of their characters.

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Title:Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William BlakeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:488 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 1.16 inPublished:April 21, 1969Publisher:Princeton University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691012911

ISBN - 13:9780691012919

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

PART ONE - THE ARGUMENT

1. The Case against Locke 3

2. The Rising God 30

3. Beyond Good and Evil 55

4. A Literalist of the Imagination 85

5. The Word Within the Word 108

PART TWO - THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SYMBOLISM

6. Tradition and Experiment 147

7. The Theif of Fire 187

8. The Refiner in Fire 227

9. The Nightmare with Her Ninefold 269

PART THREE - THE FINAL SYNTHESIS

10. Comus agonists 313

11. The City of God 356

12. The Burden of the Valley of Vision 404

GENERAL NOTE: BLAKE'S MYSTICISM 431

NOTES ON THE ILLUSTRATIONS 433

NOTES TO THE TEST 435

INDEX 451

From Our Editors

This book offers an explanation of Blake's thought and a commentary on his poetry. No effort has been made to deal at all adequately with Blake's biography or with his work as painter and engraver: a study of his relation to English literature is primarily what has been attempted.

Editorial Reviews

"A magnificent, extraordinary book. . . . Several great poets have written of Blake, but this book is the first to show the full magnitude of Blake's mind."--The Spectator