Friday, October 15, 2004

William Blake and Swedenborgian doctrine

While reading Ulysses, many of you may have noticed several references to the late 18th-century English poet William Blake. Blake's relationship to formal religious doctrine was highly antagonistic; one of the main goals of his poetic "prophecies" was to reappropriate Christian mythology and deploy it subversively within/as his own poetic framework. However, Blake did have some strong affiliations with more radical religious movements of his era, particularly the religious "cults" of Swedenborg and Mesmer (which in time would also be reprocessed via Blake's own myth). However, for those of you interested in Blake's early formal relation to these systems, a fine essay can be found on the topic at 'Romanticism on the Net.' Here's the link:



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