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WILLIAM BLAKE FOR INNOCENTS: AN INTRODUCTION

EVENT: WILLIAM BLAKE FOR INNOCENTS: AN INTRODUCTION

DATE: 23rd September 2021 - 14th October 2021

TIME: 2pm - 4pm on THURSDAYS

VENUE: SWEDENBORG HOUSE

PRICE: FREE

WORKSHOP LEADER/S: ADRIANA DIAZ ENCISO

ALL ARE WELCOME TO A NEW SERIES OF 4 AFTERNOON SEMINARS.  RUNNING ON CONSECUTIVE THURSDAYS FROM SEPTEMBER 23 TO OCTOBER 14

NOW FULLY BOOKED

Please email info@swedenborg.org.uk to be added to a waiting list if there are cancellations

COURSE OUTLINE

The aim of this course is to provide an introductory panorama of William Blake’s poetic works, emphasizing their visionary character and the indissoluble bond between his poetry and his visual art. A biographic account will allow students to appreciate Blake’s work’s revolutionary nature in the context of his time, as well as his struggle against his contemporaries’ incomprehension. We will focus on Blake’s concept of imagination as the highest human faculty, which reflects divinity within us, expressed through artistic and poetic creation. We will also dwell on the relevance of this exceptional poet and artist in the world today.

As part of the programme, a visit to the Prints and Drawings Department of the British Museum to see some of the wonderful images by Blake in their holdings will be organised. (Date to be confirmed)

The sessions

1. SESSION ONE: CHILDREN OF IMAGINATION

Thursday 23 September at 2pm – 4pm

A biographic introduction to William Blake, his view of imagination, and Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience.


2. SESSION TWO: PROPHECY AS REVOLUTION

Thursday 30 September at 2pm – 4pm

Introduction to The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. How Blake questions Emanuel Swedenborg, who had been a key influence in his own work.


3. SESSION THREE: HOW VISIONS ARE PEOPLED

Thursday 7 October at 2pm – 4pm

Prophecy, Imagination and the Poetic Genius in Blake’s work. Introduction to his illustrated books. An account of Blake’s stay in Felpham and the birth of Milton.


4. SESSION FOUR: FINDING JERUSALEM

Thursday 14 October at 2pm – 4pm

Blake’s return to London and the creation of Jerusalem. The Emanation of the Giant Albion. Blake’s legacy.

Course leader

ADRIANA DIAZ ENCISO is an author of poetry and fiction, and a translator. For several years she was a trustee, then Secretary of the Blake Society, and was co-leader of the project to acquire Blake’s cottage in Felpham and turn it into a space for creation. Her latest novel, Ciudad doliente de Dios (Doleful City of God) (Alfaguara/UNAM), is inspired on William Blake’s Prophetic Poems.

 

RECOMMENDED READING

The body of critical works on William Blake is vast. For this introductory course, though we will be reading only Blake’s work, I suggest some basic texts that contribute to a deeper understanding of that work and his life.  You will need access to either The Complete Illuminated Books, The Complete Poems or editions of individual works to read the material chosen for this course.

  • Blake, William, The Complete Illuminated Books, Thames and Hudson, London/NY, 2000
  • Blake, William, The Complete Poems, Penguin’s Classics, Penguin Books, England 2004
  • Ackroyd, Peter, Blake (biography), Sinclair-Stevenson, London 1995
  • Foster Damon, S, A Blake Dictionary. Revised edition. University of New England, 1979
  • Gilchrist, Alexander, Life and Works of William Blake, (second ed., London, 1880), published by Cambridge University Press, 2009
  • Raine, Kathleen, William Blake. Oxford University, 1970.

Online Resources