William Blake vs. The World

18 May 2023 11:32 - 03 Jan 2024 08:17
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    • Book by John Higgs on Blake
    • So far, good but kind of basic. Too simple, compared to Northrop Frye.
    • The primacy of the imagination. Quite literally the exact same line as the WS dudes, although they don't mention Blake as much as you'd think. The argument is simple: everything we know and feel is via the imagination, IOW constructed actively. The constructs of the imagination have a reality that is, ultimately, superior to the naturalist idea of reality as a kind of abstract machine.
    • Ch on Swedenborg was interesting, didn't know much about him. An engineer who got visionary later in life.
    • Ch on imagination – pedestrian but a useful tabulation of theories. Did not know that Sartre was (a) anti-imaginal and (b) plagued by delusions of crabs due to a mescaline overdose. This book is great for gossipy little tidbits.
      • Don't think it quite got at the radical imaginalism of Blake (Fearful Symmetry does this better). It's not a separate faculty, its the most basic function of mind.
    • Ch on sex – OK didn't know most of that stuff, like Blake's mother belonged to an orgy cult...fun times!