THE POETRY AND PROSE OF WILLIAM BLAKE by David V.- Ed. Erdman

THE POETRY AND PROSE OF WILLIAM BLAKE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

William Blake has suffered the disaster of being anthologized by men beneath his worth, men who seem to resent their inability to penetrate his profundity. Such tasteless anthologizing deprives the reader of the possibility of appreciating the greatness of Blake's complete vision. And let there be no doubt that his work is visionary and great. For this reason alone publication of the Blake corpus is a welcome event. But the Erdman edition possesses the additional virtue of being prepared as a text. Notes to the writing provide clarification for difficult readings and allow the reader to view Blake's process of writing and rewriting. Furthermore Erdman has corrected misprintings which have perverted Blake's meaning. These do much to render the mysterious clear. But more important is Harold Bloom's critical commentary. This is intended as a guide through the initial difficulty of Blake's poetry. It is authoritative and accurate, but is, unfortunately, sometimes as obscure as Blake's writing. It will undoubtedly prove more informative to those familiar with Blake than to those beginning their study. It is, nevertheless, an excellent guide to teaching.

Pub Date: Sept. 24th, 1965
Publisher: Doubleday