Biographers of Blake

Ginsberg on Blake continues

AG: “Exuberance is beauty” is the same thing as “Enough! or Too much!”. It leads into a kind of gothic drawing and gothic poetry. Like, I was thinking the other night, the rhetoric in “The French Revolution” is gothic (where I was talking about the warts and the adornments and the sort of curlicues and the gargoyles within his lines – the gargoylic style – it’s gothic. And one reason he got established in gothic is, that, as a young man, he was sent, apprenticed, to make drawings of gothic cornices and cupolas and pillars, and spent a long long time in Westminster Abbey, drawing gothic-style kings’ funerary statues. It was an interesting notion – gothic – (which I got from a biography I’ve been reading by Mona Wilson, the second big biography (the first one was the (one by)..lets see…(Alexander) Gilchrist, in two volumes, and the best edition of that is 1880, which has all the early first information gossip about Blake’s life. And so that’s to volumes, very beautifully illustrayed, and that’s over in the Naropa library, an expensve rare old book. So if you want to take a look at the first biography that’s available to you, and then this Mona Wilson biography is the second (which I think is Oxford (University) Press, and this is an early edition from Nonesuch Press, 1825. I think her Life.. is reprinted in Oxford, in some way, Oxford (University) Press, I’m not sure. You look it up and one of these books, one or another of these books will give you a bibliography (which you get in the paperback mass edition)

to be continued

Audio for the above can be heard – here, beginning at approximately twenty-three minutes in and concluding at approximately twenty-five minutes in

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