Blake List — Volume 1998 : Issue 47

Today's Topics:
	 Re: Thanks 
	 Re: Thanks
	 Thanks  -Reply
	 Enitharmon Press
	 Enitharmon Press -Reply
	 Bentley Books
	 Four Zoas Facsimile
	 Four Zoas
	 Re: brief introduction -Reply//TYGER
	 Re: brief introduction -Reply//TYGER
	 John Sampson


Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 13:01:07 -0400
From: Robert Anderson 
Subject: Re: Thanks 
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I think it is important to see the etching while trying to make sense of
the poem.  Clearly the poem does set up this dichotomy between the evil
tiger and the good lamb.  The image, however, undermines that.  I was
turned on to Blake as an undergraduate because I was unsatisfied with a
professor's account of the poem (the good lamb/evil tiger).  I came to
question the speaker's perspective, wondering if the broken sentences and
rapid shifts in thought didn't suggest something was wrong with him.
Later, when I had opportunity to read more criticism, examine the images,
and read some of the later poems, I have found that questioning (of the
speaker's need to separate and explain) to continue to make sense to me.
Strangely enough, the earlier reading still has, as you say, Guillermo,
"force."  It is a compelling reading of a compelling poem, appealing to our
sense of injustice.

Good luck, 

Rob Anderson
At 10:35 AM 8/13/1998 -0300, you wrote:
>Thanks to all of you who were so kind as to reply to my brief introduction.
>I've been reading the e-mails. Frankly, some I can understand and some I can
>not. This is hardly my field. But I enjoy all of them. It is my goal to
>improve my English and my understanding of English literature. I have this
>weird idea that engineers should take courses in humanities to avoid falling
>into the technical maelstrom from which very few escape.
>I have often been advised to wait a long time before offering an opinion to a
>group, mainly to avoid showing my own ignorance. The problem is, if I don't
>talk, I'll never be corrected. And this time I think you may be interested in
>the opinion of someone not belonging to academia.
>I first read "The Tyger" when I was 16 (1966) in English IV, at a very
>exclusive Catholic high school, in California. I stayed in the US for a year.
>I am not making any comments of a religious nature, just stating a fact which
>may be interesting. The school was great, but the meaning given to certain
>poems may or may not be the one intended by it authors.
>Upon reading "The Tyger", no mention was made about Los and Urizen. The
>teacher presented the Tiger as Blake's representation of evil, as opposed to
>the Lamb, which he believed was the representation of Christ. There was no
>question about who had created both. "Did He who made the Lamb make thee?"
>(I'm quoting by heart, sorry) was taken as disbelief, not doubt.
>Do you agree with this opinion?
>This line of thought led me to other questions. What are the "wings" in which
>he aspired?. What is the "hand" that dared "seize the fire"?.
>As a non-academia reader the poem impresses me by its force. It has always
>sounded to me as if its author were terrified by the subject he's writing
>Sorry to bother you. Thank you.
>Attachment Converted: "C:\EUDORA\Attach\vcard17.vcf"


Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 16:47:14 -0500
From: "J. Michael" 
Subject: Re: Thanks
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I agree, Rob.  It's too easy to take the good/evil dichotomy at face value.
I always ask my students WHAT makes them assume the tiger is "evil."
Certainly not the illustration, which looks rather like Hobbes from the
Calvin & Hobbes cartoon.  Some argue that Blake didn't know what a tiger
looked like, but I think he was very deliberately juxtaposing a pussycat
image with the terrifying verbal images of the poem.

Focusing on the "evil" of the tiger draws our attention away from the
creator, who I think is the real subject of the poem.  The tiger is a
wondrous work of art, and the speaker is filled with awe as well as
fear--who *could* as well as *dare* make such a thing?  And the speaker
presumably was made by the same creator, so he's also asking, "Am I a lamb
or a tyger?  What aspects of both are in me?"

I often encounter the argument that "God made the lamb and Satan made the
tyger."  To me, that doesn't get us anywhere, since God also made Satan,
and look what happened to him.  It all just brings us back to the nature of
God, who is as we perceive him (I think Blake would say).

I've mentioned before in this context Robert Paulson's excellent essay on
the Lamb & Tyger in _Representations of Revolution_.

Jennifer Michael


Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 09:57:29 +0200
From: P Van Schaik 
Subject: Thanks  -Reply

Dear Guillermo
It is interesting that you say: " I have this weird idea that engineers
should take courses in humanities to avoid falling
into the technical maelstrom from which very few escape,"  as where I
went to university, in Durban, South Africa, the Lady Warden of our
residence insisted so that engineers be exposed to the arts, that they
were compelled to attend the performances put on by the Dept of
Speech and Drama.  In fact, I think they were required to do English I as
part of their Engineering degrees. 

But, without compulsion, I think many studying arts nowadays feel the
need equally to expose themselves to the latest thoughts and theories in
the world of science.
You go on to say:
Upon reading "The Tyger", no mention was made about Los and Urizen.
teacher presented the Tiger as Blake's representation of evil, as
opposed to
the Lamb, which he believed was the representation of Christ. There
was no
question about who had created both. "Did He who made the Lamb make
(I'm quoting by heart, sorry) was taken as disbelief, not doubt.
Do you agree with this opinion?

The reason why, in my first brief answer to you, I mentioned two
creators was for the very reason you mention --- that most
commentators simply attribute evil to the Tyger and good to the Lamb.
(That is, I was not trying to discomfort you or ruin your pleasure in the
poem, as some online may have thought, but pointing to something which
may interest you , and I'm glad it did. )

Blake certainly raises the possibility that this world could have been
created by a fallen demiurge -- in keeping with Gnostic and Kabbalistic
thought.  He saw a world where the tiger devours the Lamb and the
Worm the Rose, and in which the Devourer always seems prevalent
over the Prolific... the Devourer being symbolic of a Class of men who in
their own arrogance and self-righteousness destroy the freedoms and
lives of others.

While the Lamb certainly is associated with Christ as the Lamb of God,
the poem implies more than a contrast  between good and evil.  The
blacksmith struggling to create form is used to evoke a creator  who has
to use all his strength to contain the untrammeled fury and fierceness of
the spirit of the tiger ,which has not yet been contained in narrow form. 
Uncontained, it is a presence such as fallen Urizen (the wintry
Accuser-god of Blake's longer poems) himself fears as he walks
through his once bright realms, now fallen into hideous disorganization in
the abyss of dark space and time.

In the longer poems, URizen is rather like Lucifer in Milton's poetry, and
rules over a mathematical, barren universe created when he contracted
and forgot the divine vision of love in which all beings participate in
brotherhood with the expansive bosom of a loving God

In the longer poems, Los, always associated with Furnaces of
imaginative inspiration, tries to give the horrendous malformes spectres
of the deep some symmetry and form. This is the god portrayed in
'Tyger".  Blake asks `on what wings' such a creator dare aspire
because Los would still be a supernal, possible angelically formed, and
so winged,  being who retained  a vision of his former state of bliss in
Eternity where he was the Prince of Imagination within Albion.

Blake is not terrified of his subject, but raises the old question  of how 
suffering could have been created by a good god ... or could this world's
creator have been fallen?


Date: Fri, 14 Aug 98 10:16:58 +0100 ( + )
From: Paul Tarry 
To: Blake Group 
Subject: Enitharmon Press
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Stumbled across the following listing;

Flying Blind
Enitharmon Press, price 8.95, ISBN 1900564262 
By Gary Geddes; poems inspired by experiences in Japan, Australia, 
Israel and Palestine.

anyone know anything about Enitharmon Press ?


Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 12:36:27 +0200
From: P Van Schaik 
Subject: Enitharmon Press -Reply

I think this Press is non-profit and was mentioned in a Blake Illustrated
Quarterly of more than a decade ago.  It did some woodcuts, I think, at
one time. There was also a Golgonooza Press.


Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 19:29:47 +0900
From: "S. Watanabe" 
Subject: thanks
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Thanks so much for all of you for the responses.

 I've "known" you and read all your mails since I joined the group. I hope I
would be able to understand your messages in the near future. Meanwhile just
let me"sit on the back" and listen to your discussions. Thanks!

 Thanks for the references; maybe I could try reading the facsimile. 
I saw Erdman's edition some time before at a local book store, but found out
it's just too difficult to read.
"The poetry of William Blake" by Michael Ferber is a nice *simple*
beginning for me.

I enjoyed your site, your poems and illustrations,and the part on Blake.



Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 16:11:37 +0200 (MET DST)
From: Henriette Stavis 
Subject: Bentley Books
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--Tom Devine,

I'm glad that you found my little overview over Crabb useful. I should 
perhaps say that I'm indebted to Ralph for quite a number - if not the 
majority - of the entries. I've merely collected them on one list.

Thank you for the tip about the BLAKE RECORDS and BLAKE BOOKS. Other 
people on the list have also been recommending these books. 
Unfortunately, I've not been able to get a hold of them yet. Our 
departmental library has locked everyone out in order to take inventory 
and the copies in the Royal Library are currently out. But I have reserved 
the books, so I hope to get a look at them in the near future.



Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 11:31:37 EDT
Subject: Four Zoas Facsimile
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Re The Four Zoas, I just discovered a newer facsimile edition, which I ha=
d not=0Aknown about:

The Four Zoas by William Blake, A Photographic Facsimile of the Manuscrip=

Publisher: Bucknell University Press
Publ. Date