Monday, December 31, 2007


This is a response to friend Clint Stevens' post to the Yahoo Blake group.

It really doesn't respond to Clint's architectural questions, but the general question of Golgonnza in Blake's vision. However re spatial concepts: you may understand that the culmination of Gol is in Beulah, where space is completely evanescent. In that light Blake may be expected to use spatial (and temporal) terms playfully.

Blake was a highly spiritual (religious) man and Golgonooza can be best seen in that light.
In my simplistic understanding of Golgonooza it is the work of "art" and "artists", or perhaps the imaginative work of creative people in the world, or in Albion if you prefer, or in your own psyche-- of a period of 6000 years.

These works have a ambiguous history or nature, continually building and destroying like Jeremiah was called to do. You might also call it the work of angels in a demonic world (truth forever on the scaffold). The best work of the artisans of Golgonooza is chequered or flawed with many vestiges of Ulro, but consciously or hopefully moving toward Beulah. There of course it becomes Jerusalem.

The Church, which purports to be about growing into or building the kingdom of God can only be one of the lesser dimensions of Gol's inhabitants. As the master said,
"A Poet a Painter a Musician an Architect: the Man
Or Woman who is not one of these is not a Christian"
(LAOCOON prose; Erdman 274).

The final image from Illustrations to the book of Job (The Linnell Set) shows Job's family as musicians playing their instruments.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Exaggeration for Emphasis

People use one (or both) of two basic languages:
1. The vernacular or ordinary
2. Poetic language.

Our Blake spoke the poetic language from birth (as do most babies, but they unfortunately soon lose it). In many places ordinary language is understated: "I don't like him", may announce an intention of killing him.

In contrast poets are free to exaggerate. It may shock us into the truth they mean to convey. Blake was very, very good at that. Sometimes we just have to make allowances, but best of all is to be shocked into the truth.

Now which of these languages do we have here:
Good and Evil are deadly dreams that the Soul may fall into when it leaves Paradise following the Serpent.