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Reading William Blake

$19.99 (P)

Part of Reading Writers and their Work

  • Date Published: April 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521128414

$ 19.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • William Blake (1757‒1827) is one of the most original and influential figures of the Romantic Age, known for his work as an artist, poet and printmaker. Grounding his ideas both in close reading and in the latest scholarship, Saree Makdisi offers an exciting and imaginative approach to reading Blake. By exploring some of the most important themes in Blake's work and connecting them to particular plates from Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Makdisi highlights Blake's creative power and the important interplay between images and words. There is a consistent emphasis on the relationship between the material nature of Blake's illuminated books, including the method he used to produce them, and the interpretive readings of the texts themselves. Makdisi argues that the material and formal openness of Blake's work can be seen as the very basis for learning to read in the spirit of Blake.

    • Offers a fresh approach to William Blake that is open and accessible
    • Presents state-of-the-art Blake scholarship for an introductory audience
    • Explains the nature of Blake's method of printing and ties it to reading his work
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Reading William Blake is not about careless readings but the most careful, brought to life by Makdisi’s own beautiful and precise critical prose.' Shirley Dent, The Times Literary Supplement

    'This is a brief introduction to Blake that novices and seasoned Blakeans alike will enjoy and learn from. … The book is a celebration of Blake rather than a critique. It always expresses the critic’s own admiration and communicates this warmly to the reader. … It draws readers in, showing how puzzles and disjunctions can be productive, and how the play of children, reflections on the passage of time, artistic labor, ideas of eternity, and industrial work practices can be closely related in Blake’s thought. It is a book that will succeed very well in starting readers on a journey.' Andrew Lincoln, Blake - An Illustrated Quarterly

    'One of the main strengths of Makdisi’s book - and a key reason as to why its approach is so clear and effective - is that the parameters of the project have been so carefully chosen. Makdisi anchors each of the chapters in a close reading of a poem from Songs of Innocence and of Experience, given that it is both accessible and widely available' - and is also by far the most likely text with which any student of Blake will begin … I will certainly be including Reading William Blake on my reading lists for students.' Katherine Fender, The BARS Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521128414
    • length: 150 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.26kg
    • contains: 31 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Image
    2. Text
    3. Desire
    4. Joy
    5. Power
    6. Time
    7. Making

  • Author

    Saree Makdisi, University of California, Los Angeles
    Saree Makdisi is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Making England Western (2014), Palestine Inside Out: An Everyday Occupation (2010), William Blake and the Impossible History of the 1790s (2003), and Romantic Imperialism (Cambridge, 1998).

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