William Blake – (Class Preparations)

Continuing from yesterday. As before, in the initial tapes, we experience technical difficulties. Original transcriber, Randy Roark:

“Shortly into this lecture it sounds as if in reaching for a book Ginsberg knocks into the microphone, apparently dislodging it.  As a result, much of the subsequent lecture is lost”

Today’s episode covers the rudimentary matter of obtaining books for the course

AG:  [in media res] … according to that scheme [The Four Zoas]..

Oh, the other problem is books.  How are we doing with getting Blake books?  Has anybody not been able to find one?

Student: They’re out at the Naropa Bookstore.

AG:  How many have not got them?  Just one, two.. Could you keep your hands raised, please?  One, two, three, four, five, six.  Of those who have the hands raised, do you want to get it, or not?  In other words should we order (them)?  Should I make an effort to make sure they order them and get them?  So it’s just six copies?

Student: Seven.

AG: Seven.

Student (2): Eight.

AG [to Student teaching assistant]: Could you keep track of that, Bill (sic)?  Yeah?

Student: Is it possible to get (Blake) Dictionaries?

AG: Now, the Blake Dictionary I’ll try and get to.  How many would like to try and get the dictionary, if we can get it in paperback?  [to Student teaching assistant] Can you count that?  In other words, can you perhaps pass a (piece of paper around)?  I think it might be a good idea to pass a piece of paper around (for names) Does anybody have any trouble getting the Illuminated Blake?  Yeah.  Is that out also now?

Student: They’re out at the Naropa Bookstore.

Student: And they’re out at the Boulder Bookstore, also.

Student: I haven’t checked the Brillig (Brillig Works bookstore) yet.

AG: Pardon?

Student: I haven’t checked the bookstore….

Student (2): Brillig doesn’t have any either.

AG:  Oh.

Student:  They still haven’t got any.

AG: Okay, then, could you make up a sheet of paper with Erdman texts – (the) Erdman Illuminated Blake, and the (S. Foster Damon‘s (Blake) Dictionary  -and pass it around so we have a precise idea of how many need it from this class now? So when the sheet comes around, will you just write your names and addresses down? And I’ll make some effort to get it (which means going to the store and..) Well, the dictionary, apparently, is available from Brown University at this point, which is twenty  or twenty-five dollars. If anybody wants it, we can order it.  Otherwise, I’m going to have to.. . The alternative is I’ll be phoning New York and (can) have somebody canvas all the used bookstores and air-mail (them), and they’ll probably be about ten dollars or eight dollars now. [1978 (sic)].  So if you want one of the paperback dictionaries, say so.  And if you want to actually order a hardcover you know how to do it, I think?  Who is it that did it?

Student: I just went to Brillig Works on the Hill.

AG:  And they did it for you?

Student: Yeah.

AG: They ordered it for you.

Student: Yeah.

AG:  Did it take long?

Student: I went before Christmas and it came shortly after Christmas.

AG:  So, about ten days, huh?

Student: I’m not sure how long before Christmas I went.

AG: Well, if we get a list of how many people want them, we’ll try. Yes?

Student: How much is it in paperback?

AG:  I don’t know.  Probably around ten dollars or something.  I’m not sure.  I think they’re worth having, if you’re interested in Blake over a long period of time, because it’s a permanent reference book.  And you could probably sell it because I’ll be teaching this course, continuing with Milton in the summer and Jerusalem next winter or next summer.  So I’m going to keep (teaching him). So you’ll always be able to dispose of these, I think.  If you don’t want them you can pass them on, or I’ll buy them from you, or something, so we’ll have them for next term and next year.

So, there’s only six people lacking the basic text. You could get.. ,You could get a used..  I would suggest that you get the Erdman/Bloom (Poetry and Prose of William Blake)  but you could get it out of the library, or borrow, or use any Blake, meanwhile, that has his preliminary works and the prophetic books.  Use what you can. I’d say use whatever text you can,and read what you can,  but hold out of the Erdman thing – it’s worth having.

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at approximately forty-seven minutes in and concluding at approximately fifty-one minutes in]

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