Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's BĂȘte Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Monday, July 23, 2007

"I darr in the samm head."

I was lying on the couch, reading to the kid, when I started to doze off and started spouting nonsense. I darr in the samm head. Not even recognizable words.

"You shouldn't, people, you shouldn't."

What was I thinking of when I said this? I have no idea. I was dozing off.

"The night I wish for fish."

We were reading Dr. Seuss, so the rhyme makes sense at least.

The kid thought all of this was very funny.

* * *

"Choosing forms of worship from poetic tales." -- William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

"The Religeons of all Nations are derived from each Nation's different reception of the Poetic Genius which is every where call'd the Spirit of Prophecy." -- Blake, All Religions Are One

I'm reading Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity by the recently deceased American philosopher Richard Rorty. William Blake remarkably prefigured Rorty's notion that change of belief and style in Western culture proceeds through the literalization of metaphor.

"I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Man's." Rorty quotes this Blake line.

The necessarily metaphorical nature of life's fundamental apprehensions -- Blake knew this, and Rorty did too, almost 200 years later. I mention this because Rorty says he prefers the poets to the philosophers, and yet he nowhere gives Blake credit for having described the hardening of metaphor into dogma centuries earlier. Rorty quotes literary theorist Harold Bloom -- formulator of the anxiety of influence -- extensively in the book, so perhaps the Blake omission was a sly nod of the head to Bloom's theory.

-- Newton, Wm. Blake

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