The Wond'Rous Art: William Blake and Writing

The Wond'Rous Art: William Blake and Writing

The Wond'Rous Art: William Blake and Writing

The Wond'Rous Art: William Blake and Writing

Synopsis

"The Wond'rous Art: William Blake and Writing offers an extended analysis of what writing means to Blake as a thematic, formal, and theoretical construct. Arguing that writing, both as a thematic concern and a physical action, forms a site of contention for the representation of and resistance to signification, this study yokes two dominant contraries in Blake criticism: the emphasis on the material aspect of Blake's work and practical matters of textual production familiar from the work of Joesph Viscomi, and the poststructuralist approach to Blake suggested in the work of critics such as Peter Otto and Donald Ault." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

This book is a study of the representation of writing in the works of William Blake. While I take the work of Blake as my starting point and constant point of reference, I am also interested in the larger contexts supplied by a range of discussions of the nature of writing as a “grammatology.” I begin this line of argument fully aware of the idea that “in present academic discourse, [the word grammatology] has become charged with associations with sceptical philosophy and the critical techniques of deconstruction” and that a study that invokes aspects of deconstruction and the specter of Jacques Derrida risks the unfortunate objection that, appearing more than thirty years after the first appearance Of Grammatology, any such study may seem belated. As has been well rehearsed in countless books and articles, Of Grammatology almost single-handedly shaped the practice of and attitudes toward deconstructive criticism and opened the way for a myriad of poststructuralist approaches. It did so by offering a reading of writing. As writing and deconstruction became almost inextricably linked, the so-called “death” of deconstruction now threatens to make the study of writing seem always already belated. Yet the study of writing is not necessarily tied entirely to Derrida or deconstruction. It has a rich history beginning as early as 1680, is reinvestigated by Ignace Gelb in his 1952 A Study of Writing and becomes an informing interest in the more modern work of writers such as Walter Ong, Henri-Jean Martin, and Nicholas Hudson. Since I am specifically concerned with the topic of “writing” in Blake, it would be impossible to offer such a study without including Of Grammatology as an important informing text. Questions about Derrida's belatedness are therefore not a significant factor in his inclusion (or exclusion) in this study. The era of his work is of less relevance than its use in illuminating Blake's work.

In Wond'rous Art, I am attempting to reconcile what has been a distinct split in approaches to the study of Blake. From its inception, the study of Blake has been well served by a group of scholars rooted in the traditions of textual and bibliographical criticism—writers for whom the material document represents the first object of study—and thus we have the crucial . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.