Ginsberg on Blake’s “Europe” – (Preliminaries)

Allen Ginsberg on William Blake – 1979 Naropa class continues 

AG: Okay.  So we get on to Europe, moving on.  Has anybody read Europe?  Raise your hand if you have.  So few?  Well, you’re waiting for me to do all the work.  It’s not fair.  Because I can’t do all this work.  I need help.  Somebody for the next time then.  We’ll be meeting at my house next time, at noon?  Right?

Student: Right.

AG: Wednesday.  Is that (right)?  When was it?  Wednesday noon. So you’re all invited and we’ll serve something.  What I want to do is take a break from the big texts, so Wednesday noon at my house what we can do is sing through Songs of Experience 1793. So we’re now up to the publication of the Songs of Experience, and we’ll use that opportunity to sing those through, most of them, and go through some of the short poems of 1793 that I’ve mentioned before moving on in through Europe

But I want to point out that this is the first prophecy – Europe, 1794.  He’s getting really freaked out and disillusioned by what happened to the French Revolution.  It’s the first prophecy that contains his cosmology beginning to be developed, as all the commentators point out.  You begin to get into some heavy shit here in terms of who is Los, who is Enitharmon, who is Urizen, who is Orc, who is this nameless shadowy female rising from the breast of Orc?  Urthona comes on now.  Enitharmon is mentioned at great length, Rintrah, Palamabron, Elynittria … who else comes in?  (Sir Isaac) Newton.  And then Ethinthus, on page 64.  Manathu-Varcyon.  Manathu-Varcyon. LeuthaOothoon returns to us.  Thiralatha, Sotha.

So you’ve got a big cast of characters and if you don’t read this and look up the notes and depend on me to get it all together, it’s going to be more difficult.  I’m willing to try, but actually (that’s (the whole point of my giving out (those) assignments the other day (of who was to read the various books).

to be continued.  

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

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