Blake List — Volume 1997 : Issue 36

Today's Topics:
	 Re: John Opie
	 Re: punctilio
	 Re: John Opie
	 Re: Urizenic Roses and Worms of Orc
	 Re: Eternity and Urizen Again...
	 Ackroyd Bio Query from Charlie
	 Re: Blake & Caribbean: Glissant? Harris?
	 Another Correction
	 dead man reviews
	 Comparative Quotes
	 Fwd: To Tirzah......Sex and Mother Earth....?


Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 12:01:26 +0000
From: Keri Davies 
Subject: Re: John Opie
Message-Id: <>

In message <>, "susan p.
reilly"  writes
>A portrait exists, (somewhere, possibly held privately) painted by John 
>Opie, of Basil Montagu, a "minor" Romantic figure--barrister, 
>pamphleteer, and litterateur.  It was known to have been at one time  
>in the possession of Bryan ("Barry Cornwall") Waller Procter and was 
>exhibited  at the National Portrait Exhibition of 1868 (yes that's 
>*18*68, not 1968).  Here the trail, alas! grows cold;  the painting is 
>not in the National Gallery (I checked), although the NPG houses a 
>number of portriats of Montagu's ancestors, the  sometimes nefarious 
>and often infamous Earls of Sandwich.  No publications on Opie's works 
>I've found can trace the whereabouts of the painting in question.
Christopher Wright, The World's Master Paintings (Routledge 1992)
includes a comprehensive list of Opie's paintings in public collections.
The portrait of Montagu is not among them so I guess if it survives it
must be in a private collection somewhere.

According to Wright, a catalogue raisonne of Opie's work is included in
John J. Rogers, Opie and his works (London, 1878).  There is no modern
revision.  Wright also notes the major Opie collection is that at the
Cornwall County Museum & Art Gallery, in Truro.

There's also an useful article by John Wilson in the Dictionary of Art
(Grove, 1996) with a short bibliography.

>Do any of you know (i.e., can you easily find out) if Opie's portrait 
>of Montagu is in the Tate or Fitzwilliam, Bodleian,  etc. etc. (are 
>there portraits in the British Museum?).
>Failing that, does anyone  know any more about OPie's works and their 
>whereabouts? (I know his portrait of Wollstonecraft is in the NPG).

The NPG also holds Opie portraits of Francesco Bartolozzi, Henry Bone,
Henry Fuseli, John Wolcot, and Thomas Holcroft, just to mention those
persons of some relevance to Blake.
>Montagu did have tenuous Blake connections.   For example, he 
>went about trying to enlist subscriptions for Blake's _Job_.
Not quite.  According to Bentley's Blake Records, Crabb Robinson
solicited one pound from Montagu as advance subscription to Job.
Montagu's involvement in law reform, opposing capital punishment,
seeking to remove the legal penalties against Jews, brings him close to
the ideas of C.A. Tulk, who certainly knew Blake well.

My view is that everyone who bought Blake's work in his lifetime is of
considerable significance.  But then I'm interested in Blake in the
context of his time and that includes the context of contemporary
collecting.  Don't you think that putting Blake into an imagined context
like Raine's great tradition or an invented context like Romanticism has
just about run its course?

Keri Davies


Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 07:34:23 -0600 (CST)
From: (susan p. reilly)
Subject: Re: punctilio
Message-Id: <>

Thanks for the correction on the URL--I'm really getting rushed and 
sloppy here!  At any rate, a very good website, however you get there!



Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 07:48:11 -0600 (CST)
From: (susan p. reilly)
Subject: Re: John Opie
Message-Id: <>

I just tried to send a longish and carefully-thought out post of thanks 
etc., but (and this is happening more now that I got my "new and 
improved" robotic baud-rate upgrade....) it froze in the sending stage 
and I don't think it will ever materialize in this dimension.

In summary, (in case the other message comes to life somewhere, and 
because my knuckles are tired) and so as not to bore too much (more?) 
other listers as this is somewhat off-list (though not entirely!):) I 
offer the following:

1.  Thanks--very informative, thorough post

2.   Knew about Rogers, but not the rest

3.   You're no doubt right about the Job subscription--it was for 
Coleridge that Montagu enlisted subscriptions to _The Friend_ and (as 
you point out) only "signed on" for a copy of _Job._  Crabb Robinson 
did the leg-work.

4.   My own work has been on life & works of Montagu and his connex to 
Romantic patronage.   

5.   I might add that Montagu worked in the courts for the extension of 
copyright to (Romantic era) writers.

6.   From where in the UK are you writing, and are you a student?  I am 
surprised that the facts of Montagu's life are so well-known to you.

Thank you,  and I look forward to hearing from you,



Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 09:16:10 -0500
From: (R.H. Albright)
Subject: Re: Urizenic Roses and Worms of Orc
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Jenny H., J Hecklinger, et al:

I'm glad to see this post on one of the greatest poems of all time,
although of course Roses of Orc and Urizenic Worms make sense to me, too.

>The tricky thing is that all of these formulations go both ways.


>Who destroys whom?
>Who wins?
>Who ever wins?

And when is it just part of "life" in which there is no winner or loser?

>The struggle is the thing.


>The Readiness is all.
>Without contraries is no progression.
>Everything that lives is holy.

Good thinking. Double-binds, but there still has to be some way to achieve
balance. If, for example, you have a great many gypsy moths defoliating
trees, and find that some chemical (Urizenic-created) exterminator can help
keep them at bay, fine. Of course, there's always the chance that
chemical-resistant gypsy moths will then come forth and do it all even
worse. When does balance turn into some new, even worse, IMbalance?

And then of course there are the elms forever which used to grace many East
Coast American cities, now all but lost to Dutch elm disease, or the

Plagues, as Camus knew, will always be with us. They can be internally and
externally based, or both. We must be forever vigilant, particularly at
trying to subsume the "dark side of the Force" (I've been enjoying the
re-release of the Star Wars Trilogy) within our own selves. I paraphrase
Jesus when I say, "Why are you worrying about the sand in the other man's
eye? What about the sand in your own?"

-Randall Albright


Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 09:13:07 -0700
From: "Charlie K." 
Subject: Quote
Message-Id: <>

The shrill winds wake!
Till all the sons of Urizen look out and envy Los:
Sieze all the spirits of life and bind
Their warbling joys to our loud strings
Bind all the nourishing sweets of earth
To give us bliss, that we may drink the sparkling wine of Los
And let us laugh at war,
Despising toil and care.
Because the days and nights of joy. in lucky hours renew.


Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 09:50:59 -0700
From: "Charlie K." 
Subject: Re: Eternity and Urizen Again...
Message-Id: <>

R.H. Albright wrote:

> I see that this last definition by Damon is perhaps the one
> which fatally flaws Blake:
>         "Blake's great task therefore was 'to open the Eternal Worlds, to
> open the immortal Eyes of Man inwards into the Worlds of Thought, in to
> Eternity every expanding in the Bostom of God, the Human Imagination' (J
> 5:18)"

If one allows oneself to think deeply enough, a sense of time may
drop away altogether.  Losing time leaves Eternity.  In my own
personal opinion, I think Competition (for resources, for other
people, etc.) on Earth keeps us bound down in this situation of Time
& Space.  I think Blake may have felt this also.  Sexual
Regeneration requires a lot of Competition among members of the
species.  The development of ego in animals through Time is an
important thing to consider.  The sense of individuality.  But 'in
Eternity all is Translucent.'  Blake worked under the premise that
everything is connected.  This is a view most easily Understood by
stepping out of Ego.

> The human imagination... yes... and it's Blake's imagination that
> nullifies space and time as aspects of Eternity. Either that, or
> his acceptance of the Christian mythology of Eternity as
> after-life or second-coming, which at least Blake tries to seize in
> the "here and now", although... again... does it get nullified
> after the "present" is gone???
> Maybe that's why Blake is better at shorter rather than epic poems
> (just my opinion, of course!), because:
> "To see a World in a Grain of Sand
> And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
> Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
> And Eternity in an hour."

This reflects how Eternity can be realized here in the Now.  Indeed
it is training the Imagination to look through the Immortal
Vegetative Eye so that it may see both the past and the future in
what exists Now.

> Whereas "annihilation of the self" is an aspiration, but can't even
> happen to saints. 

He he.  Annihilation of the self is the annihilation of Ego.  Many
methods have been employed throughout the past to accomplish this.
It has a lot to do with correlating belief systems along with
controlling body chemistry.  Fasting is one method.  The sparkling
wine of Los is another.  Self-flagelation.  And today we are aware of
various psychotropic drugs that have the (wondrous) ability to kick
Ego out of the house for a period.  I have always wondered what Blake
might have used as inebriants, if anything at all.  "Suspended in a
fungus."  Did he use any Visionary catalysts?  I'm sure his
Imagination was powerful enough not to require any external stimulus,
but I guess we will never know for sure.  Damon tells how Blake's
actual Visionary Experiences were a private matter to him and were
not discussed.  Damon also mentions how Blake was most interested in
the events just prior & leading up to his Visionary Experiences.  Is
there any mention of this in Paley's 'Energy & The Imagination'?

> You still wake up in the morning and see yourself in the mirror.
> You only get annihilated when you're DEAD. 

Death is certainly the extreme instance of ego loss.  One that
happens to us all.  I feel the folks most afraid of Death are those
most attached to their Ego-awareness.

> And this gets back to another very real discussion, of why Urizen
> fell out from the Eternals. 

Wasn't this because he fell asleep?

> Couldn't one call life an aberration? 

Sure.  But is that the best way to approach it?  I keep becoming more
& more convinced that anything is true if you believe it, and that
the "truth" of an idea is not as important as the usefulness and
light it brings to your Understanding or Genius.

> The Hindu-Buddhists seem to think so, always trying to get out of
> the circle of reincarnation. In this light, Urizen's fall is
> merely like any other painful fall which we may call, by another
> name, BIRTH.

Yeah, but if you "fell" when you were born, then it was for a
purpose.  Birth & Death are the cycle of Regeneration necessary for
the continuation of the Giants here in this state of Time & Space.
Blake believed that there were only so many classes of Men upon
Earth.  I often wonder how a woman feels as she reads Blake poetry
about Blake's rather complex & varied views on men and women and Man
and emanations and all that.

> And yes, as long as there is space and time and Blakeans who
> breathe life into his mythology (sorry, Mr. Blake, but I believe
> you're dead. And now, like Christ, as you knew, you're free of the
> constraints that being merely mortal put upon even a great
> person), there will always be Urizen and Los and... so much more.

And I think he was hoping it would be this way, for us to keep his
Giants alive.  And by doing so Blake himself is indeed alive within



Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 11:56:29 -0500 (EST)
From: WATT 
Subject: Ackroyd Bio Query from Charlie
Message-Id: <4529561128031997/A97004/RUTH/11B3E2F81700*@MHS>
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7BIT

Charlie: the bio is exquisitelyl written and very strong on the background 
both physical and meta-physical (Ackroyd is, after all, a fine novelist; his 
best work deals with the kind of time travel Blake routinely took).  Still, I 
have (as any decent Blakean would) reservations about his 
interpretation both of Blake's texts and his life.  Although Blake is an 
interesting eccentric in the canon of English literature and a delightful 
source of entertaining anecdotes (some of which may have bases in 
reality!), I don't see any point in talking about him in strictly literary terms.  
Indeed, to do so is to waste your time because you will be constantly 
frustrated by your inability to penetrate the obvious in Blake: his belief 
(which I share)  that each of us is an incarnation of the Eternal Great 
Humanity Divine --which means, at a bare minimum, that every person 
you lay eyes on today (EVERYONE, without exception) is of INFINITE value 
and ETERNAL duration.  Happy Easter!  Jim Watt


Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 11:17:52 -0600
From: (J. Michael)
Subject: Re: Blake & Caribbean: Glissant? Harris?
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

>>Right--Blake was not seriously in the canon anywhere until Frye's 1946
>>*Fearful Symmetry,* although there were a few good efforts out on Blake
>>before that.
>By good efforts you mean critical studies, but the question is, when does
>Blake get incorporated inot teaching in schools, at elementary, secondary,
>or college level, let alone at the level of practicing literary scholars?
>There could be some relationship to formal critical studies and the
>incorporation of Blake into popular culture, but I am too lacking in
>knowledge to be able to know anything about the penetration of Blake into
>defined literary circles or the general reading public, where and when.

This is a fascinating question with implications well beyond your project.
It's my understanding that even at the college level, Blake was not
included in most "Romantics" courses until the sixties or seventies:  the
"Big Six" of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Blake, Shelley, Byron, and Keats used
to be the Big Five.  Even the MLA bibilography of English Romantic Poets
did not include Blake until the 1985 edition, with its splendid and
comprehensive bibliography by Mary Lynn Johnson.  Some time back on NASSR-L
there was a discussion of the Romantic canon that included the addition of
Blake, among other issues.

One possibility (which you've probably already pursued) is to look at
textbooks from all the educational levels and see when Blake becomes
prominent in them.

Jennifer Michael


Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 10:24:37 -0700
From: "Charlie K." 
Subject: Correction
Message-Id: <>


That should-da been "Mortal Vegetative Eye," not Immortal.



Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 10:34:44 -0700
From: "Charlie K." 
Subject: Another Correction
Message-Id: <>

Oh Yeah, it was Albion who fell asleep, not Urizen.  Duh!  Although
wasn't Urizen's "fall" precipitated by Albion sleep?  And isn't
Urizen an essential portion of Albion which eventually fled from his
mighty limbs?



Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 12:15:05 -0600
From: Vesely 
Subject: dead man reviews
Message-Id: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

I thought the list might like to see one good and one bad review of the
movie, *Dead Man.*  there are more on the web.

Suzanne Araas Vesely
   Things are what they are Johnny Depp
   Jim Jarmusch's latest film is a controversial neo-western
   Director: Jim Jarmusch
   Starring: Johnny Depp, Gabriel Byrne
   Rating: R18 (Contains graphic violence)
   Releases: February 20
   M oney can't buy the kind of advertising Jim Jarmusch's film Dead Man
   enjoyed after its controversial banning by the Australian film
   censorship board (although the decison was eventually overturned). At
   the centre of what some saw as a knee jerk reaction was a real concern
   about the levels of violence in films. When is violence, and more
   importantly sexual violence against women, acceptable? Director Jim
   Jarmusch (Down By Law, Mystery Train) defended his film by saying that
   the controversial scene, which shows a woman giving a man fellatio
   while he holds a gun to her head, was essential to the film's
   narrative. It is, after all, a "western", and the west wasn't won by
   clean-cut heroes like John Wayne. It was a nasty, violent fight for
   survival, and as far as Jarmusch is concerned, that's how it should be
   portrayed, saying: "I'm just a storyteller, interested in all details
   of human life, and my intentions have never veered even remotely close
   to exploitation or gratuitous imagery - even though I must admit that
   these qualities don't particularly shock or disturb me when present in
   the works of others - things are what they are."
         Whether or not you veer on the side of the artist's social
   responsibility, or the artist's right to complete freedom of
   expression, the danger of such a controversy is that it will
   overshadow the actual film. It shouldn't be forgotten, for example,
   that if you take out both controversial scenes (the other "offensive"
   scene shows a head being crushed) from Dead Man, you have a movie that
   could easily be given an M rating, for it's essentially a western,
   although as you might have already gathered, not a traditional one.
   Jarmusch himself has pointed out the parallels between Dead Man and
   the western genre, saying: "Westerns are most often stories involving
   journeys into unfamiliar territory, and they are also often shaped
   around very traditional themes, like retribution, redemption, or
   tragedy. I have to admit, though, that Dead Man is not a traditional
   western - the genre was really only used as a point of departure."
         A point of departure for an unusually spiritual film, which
   follows the adventures of a young man, called William Blake (Johhny
   Depp), who arrives in the frontier town of Machine to find that the
   accounting job he turned up for has already been filled. Having barely
   arrived, he is accused of the murder of the local kingpin's son, and
   is forced to flee the town. Lost and wounded he is picked up by a
   native American Indian called Nobody (Gary Farmer), who believes that
   William Blake is the famous poet whose spirit has mistakenly returned
   to the physical world. Nobody believes it is his job to accompany
   Blake back to the spirits, and while accomplishing this journey, they
   bump off a few of the bounty hunters who are after them. The
   metaphysical nature of the film is further enhanced by Nobody's quotes
   from Blake, which Jarmusch felt were appropriate given that: "many of
   Blake's ideas and writings sounded as though they could have come from
   the soul of a Native American".
         Quite apart from the storyline is the film's overall look,
   distinguished in [INLINE] particular by Jarmusch's use of black and
   white film. This was a considered choice as Jarmusch felt that colour
   lends a certain familiarity to the audience which he wanted to avoid.
   Black and white film, he also felt: "is a way of gaining some
   historical distance, again neutralising a certain familiarity with
   specific objects and locations."
         As if these singularities weren't enough to make Dead Man a cult
   film straight away, Jarmusch attracted some leading acting talent,
   including Johnny Depp, John Hurt and Robert Mitchum to the film which
   also features a soundtrack by the legendary Neil Young. "I've been a
   fan of Neil Young for many years," says Jarmusch, "and I was listening
   constantly to Neil and Crazy Horse while writing the script for Dead
   Man." When Young saw an early version of the film, he agreed to write
   the score, using pump organ, a piano, acoustic guitar and electric
   guitar. Says Jarmusch of the collaboration: "What he brought to the
   film lifts it to another level, intertwining the soul of the story
   with Neil's musically emotional reaction to it - the guy reached down
   to some deep place inside him to create such strong music for our
         Ultimately, it's a question as to whether, with or without
   violence, the film has something to say - and that can only be decided
   by individual audience members. At least in New Zealand there was no
   opposition to the public exercising this right.

Here's the pan:
                              Stranger in a Range Land
Johnny Depp goes West, slowly, in 'Dead Man'=20

   [LINK] CAST ADRIFT: Depp floats lifelessly in Dead Man=20
   Jim Jarmusch's DEAD MAN (Miramax, R) begins with Johnny Depp sitting
   on a train. We're in the 19th century, and Depp, wearing oval
   spectacles and his usual gaze of beatific blankness, stares at the
   other passengers, who stare back at him like symbolic accusers out of
   Bergman, Fellini, Stardust Memories; then he looks out the window, and
   then at a new set of passengers. After a few minutes, Crispin Glover,
   the court jester of hipster weirdness, shows up to deliver a monologue
   about what it's like to lie down in a boat and watch scenery that
   looks as if it isn't moving. He might just as well be describing Dead
   Man. The film has barely started, and already we can tell what we're
   in for - two hours of metaphysical drift.
   Dead Man turns out to be a picaresque art Western, with Depp, as a
   naif-turned-outlaw named William Blake (that's right, William Blake),
   roaming a landscape of smirky, violent absurdism. Blake arrives in a
   town called Machine to begin his job as an accountant. Before he knows
   it, he has killed a man and is stumbling away with a bullet in his
   chest, only to be saved by a Native American named Nobody (Gary
   Farmer), who speaks in an ironic version of the kind of honest-Injun
   homilies they used to lampoon on The Carol Burnett Show. This might be
   Jarmusch's ultimate postmodern joke: getting us to laugh,
   uncomfortably, at the teasing cliche-ness of his satire, even as he
   flirts with politically incorrect naughtiness.
   Blake and Nobody meander through a wilderness as shrubby and
   nondescript as a '50s B horror movie, all to the accompaniment of an
   echoey Neil Young guitar score that sounds like something Wayne
   Campbell made up in his basement. Periodically, the barrenness is
   interrupted by "cool" cult stars (Iggy Pop, Lance Henriksen, Michael
   Wincott - are my eyes deceiving me or is Steve Buscemi not in this
   movie?), who appear as bounty hunters and criminal goons. Dead Man
   fancies itself a mystical poem of mortality; Depp, who spends the
   movie in glassy-eyed affectless mode, might be staring at a mirage of
   his own afterlife. Yet the film's meandering quirkiness is, finally, a
   big bore, the desperate ploy of a filmmaker who is threatening to
   vanish down the rabbit hole of his avant-chic attitudes. Back in 1984,
   the jokey, dilapidated ennui of Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise
   expressed the go-nowhere spirit of a more frazzled era; in a sense, it
   was the last true movie of the '70s. But that rhythm now seems the
   hollowest of affectations. Like it or not, the world got moving again,
   and it's time Jim Jarmusch did too. Grade: C-
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Date: Fri, 28 Mar 97 01:47:22 UT
To: "Blake Group" 
Subject: removal

Blake Group

Please remove my name from your group.

Thomas Altizer


Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 18:08:32 -0800
From: Hugh Walthall 
Subject: Calypso
Message-Id: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Ralph:  Blake phoned me the other day and says he is delighted to inform 
you that he is passionately fond of the great island singers such as Big 
Black, The Mighty Sparrow, and of course Lord Invader.

Walcott would be a good person to ask about literary education in that 
part of the world.

Come on and try my wares, you will be glad.
I have the best in Trinidad.
Come on and buy my wares, they don't cost much.
Unless you buy, please do not touch.

Hugh Walthall


Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 22:51:28 -0700
From: "Charlie K." 
Subject: Quote
Message-Id: <>

Los answerd Therefore fade I thus dissolvd in rapturd trance


Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 09:53:09 -0700
From: "Charlie K." 
Subject: Comparative Quotes
Message-Id: <>

"Blake was a lyric poet interested chiefly in ideas, and a painter
who did not believe in nature."

     --  Alfred Kazin, 1946


"I feel that a Man may be happy in This World. And I know that This
World Is a World of Imagination & Vision I see Every thing I paint
In This World, but Every body does not see alike. To the Eyes of a
Miser a Guinea is more beautiful than the Sun & a bag worn with the
use of Money has more beautiful proportions than a Vine filled with
Grapes. The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the Eyes of
others only a Green thing that stands in the way. Some See Nature all
Ridicule & Deformity & by these I shall not regulate my proportions,
& Some Scarce see Nature at all But to the Eyes of the Man of
Imagination Nature is Imagination itself. As a man is So he Sees. As
the Eye is formed such are its Powers You certainly Mistake when you
say that the Visions of Fancy are not be found in This World. To Me
This World is all One continued Vision of Fancy or Imagination & I
feel Flatterd when I am told So."

     --  William Blake, 23 August 1799


Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 17:08:14 -0600
From: Mark Trevor Smith 
Subject: Fwd: To Tirzah......Sex and Mother Earth....?
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Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 16:45:26 +0800
From: Theresa Chong Lai Sum <"">
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Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 16:36:24 +0800
From: Theresa Chong Lai Sum <"">
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Subject: To Tirzah......Sex and Mother Earth....?
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Hi, Theresa here.A call for some opinions on To Tirzah.Lots of biblical
allusions here...Jesus said to Mary 'Then what have I to do with thee?",
and Tirzah.....Solomon's mother, lots of images of Mother love,
sex-love....which adds up to....????'The sexes sprung from Shame and
Pride', this is probably another criticism of the concept of gender
duality....or isn't it?Simone de Beauvoir's Man is the rimo supremo and
the woman is 'the other'?Or could it be Blake's criticism on the
separation of body and soul, the body is mortal, carnal and therfore
sinful and the soul is eternal, sacred , detached.....the loss of the
'Innocent' state of the honest expression of sexual love and lack of
secrecy and shame in human sensuality?Feedback of anykind please!

End of blake-d Digest V1997 Issue #36