Given his achievements within the realms of each poetry and portray, to say nothing of his compulsions to non secular and philosophical inquiry, it’s tempting to name William Blake a “Renaissance man.” However he lived within the England of the mid-eighteenth century to the close to mid-nineteenth, making him a Romantic Age man — and in reality, in line with the present historic view, considered one of that period’s defining figures. “Immediately he’s acknowledged as essentially the most non secular of artists,” say the narrator of the video introduction above, “and an necessary poet in English literature.” And whether or not realized on canvas or in verse, his visions have retained their energy over the centuries.
That energy, nevertheless, went virtually unacknowledged in Blake’s lifetime. Most who knew him regarded him as one thing between an eccentric and a madman, a notion his grandly mystical concepts and vigorous rejection of each establishments and conventions did little to dispel.
Blake didn’t consider that the world is as we see it. Somewhat, he sought to entry a lot stranger underlying truths utilizing his formidable creativeness, exercised each in his artwork and in his goals. Cultivating this capability permits us to “see a World in a Grain of Sand / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower / Maintain Infinity within the palm of your hand / And Eternity in an hour.”
These phrases come from considered one of Blake’s “Auguries of Innocence.” Regardless of being considered one of his best-known poems, it merely hints on the depth and breadth of his worldview — certainly, his view of all existence. His whole corpus, written, painted, and printed, constitutes a form of atlas of this richly imagined territory to which “The Otherworldly Artwork of William Blake” gives an summary. Although very a lot a product of the time and place during which he lived, Blake clearly drew much less inspiration from the world round him than from the world inside him. Actuality, for him, was to be cultivated — and richly — inside his personal being. Nonetheless right this moment, the chimerical conviction of his work dares us to domesticate the fact inside ourselves.
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Based mostly in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His initiatives embody the Substack publication Books on Cities, the ebook The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by way of Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video collection The Metropolis in Cinema. Comply with him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Fb, or on Instagram.