William Blake was a highly controversial poet, engraver, and thinker in the Romantic period - and has been ever since. Many contemporaries considered him an incomprehensible - albeit talented - mystic and visionary, a label that condemned him to virtual obscurity in the 19th century. At the same time, however, his poetry and etchings have attracted the admiration of people as diverse as Wordsworth, Ruskin, Morris, Yeats, and the ‘flower power’ generation of the 1960s.
We will study Blake’s utopian visions in both his poetry and so-called “Illuminated Books” in which he employs “a method of printing which combines the painter and the poet”. We will explore the past significance and present relevance of Blake’s religious-sectarian Utopianism, his critique of enlightened rationalism, his idiosyncratic sense of dialectics and other issues.
The Lektürekurs offers a close reading of Blake`s poetry.
Please register for the class by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) before the beginning of the winter term.