The Cynic Sang: The (Un)Official Blog of the William Blake Archive

July 30, 2014

Lost Letters

Filed under: BAND — Tags: , , , — hardeepssidhu @ 10:38 am

A few months back, I wrote a post about compiling a master list of all of Blake’s letters. The goal is to have an up-to-date bibliography of every letter that Blake ever wrote or received, along with letters by Blake’s contemporaries that have to do with him in some way.

As I’ve been putting this list together, I’ve come across a number of letters that pose a substantial obstacle to publishing them. Not only have these letters never been published before, they have never even been traced. (more…)

July 25, 2014

Publication Announcement – Thel copy N and Enoch Walked with God

Filed under: Publications — Tags: , — Andrea H. Everett @ 4:56 pm

The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication of an electronic edition of The Book of Thel copy N and Enoch Walked with God, both in the Cincinnati Art Museum. We have also republished Songs of Innocence copy U with a more authoritative arrangement of the plates and an enhanced Copy Information page. (more…)

July 23, 2014

Introducing: Blake’s French Revolution

Filed under: BAND — Tags: , , , , — lvandenb @ 2:55 pm

A couple of us at the Blake Archive have taken on Blake’s 1791 poem French Revolution as a new typographic project. We use many of the same principles established in early publications of typographic works. Thus, after working out some important typographic questions on the Descriptive Catalog, the French Revolution transcription appears to be fairly straightforward. (more…)

July 16, 2014

Typographical Headaches

Filed under: BAND, XML — Tags: , , — mwils31 @ 3:00 pm

The project that I am currently working on for the William Blake Archive is the Descriptive Catalogue of Blake’s work for his exhibition in Soho in 1809. This is a new experience for me, because it is my first time working on a typographical work instead of a manuscript. With new experiences come new challenges, and new headaches! (more…)

July 9, 2014

Blake and I (and the Red Dragon)

Filed under: BAND — Tags: , — Eric Loy @ 1:04 pm

By Margaret Speer

A couple of weeks ago, in a carpe diem moment of this, my last summer as an undergraduate bum, I found myself in the wonder emporium of my cousin’s basement. My cousin and her friends suggested we watch the prequel to The Silence of the Lambs, which is an old family favorite. I had never seen the film in question. In fact, I didn’t even really know there was a prequel. There is, though, and it’s called Red Dragon. (more…)

July 2, 2014

On This Day: 2 July

Filed under: BAND — Tags: , , , , — Laura Whitebell @ 1:46 pm

I’ve always been a fan of those “On This Day” features you often see in newspapers and now online. This is probably picked up from my Dad who has a wonderful memory for dates and can usually be relied upon to find and remember the most random coincidences (for example, did you know that Kublai Khan and Bruce Springsteen share a birthday?). As we get ready for 4 July celebrations here in the US, I thought I’d spend this post thinking about today, a less remembered date but significant in its own way.

So here we go: On This Day, 2 July, the Battle of Marston Moor was fought, Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan disappeared over the Pacific Ocean, a UFO crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, and Hermann Hesse celebrated his birthday. Also on 2 July (note that seamless transition), Blake wrote a letter to his patron and friend, George Cumberland. (more…)

June 25, 2014

Blake and His Far-Out Travels

Filed under: BAND — Tags: , , , , — Eric Loy @ 12:07 pm

It’s summer. Offices are empty; others are under construction. Many of us have been called away on summer business or have fled to more exotic locales. I’m on the road myself, typing from a very fine bagel shop in Ithaca, NY.

I like to travel. I really like bagels.

Unfortunately, an adventurous cosmopolitan spirit and dedication to the most hole-y of rolls doesn’t offer a lot of traction with our man Blake. Readers who are even somewhat familiar with Blake’s biography know that he didn’t exactly “get out” much. Except for a few years spent near the shore in Felpham (way down in West Sussex), Blake never really left London. (Also no evidence that he ever got hold of a really good bagel.)

But perusing the Archive, we know that Blake did appreciate travel. Only, his travel was more the internal, “like, far-out, man,” kind of movement. (more…)

June 18, 2014

“find Thee a friend”: Blake, Thomas Butts, and Patronage

Filed under: BAND — Tags: , , , — Shannon Jaime @ 2:18 pm

In the past month, I’ve transitioned from working on Blake’s letters and begun transcribing and building the BAD for “The Phoenix,” a newly discovered work by Blake whose provenance is (most conveniently) recorded in Bentley’s Blake Books supplement, one of BAND’s go-to reference works. Written in various shades of colored ink (and in a careful, vastly neater hand than Blake’s normal handwriting), “The Phoenix” is a brief, charming piece of verse dedicated to Mrs. Elizabeth Butts, wife of Thomas Butts, a clerk in the office of Britain’s Commissionary General of Musters and one of Blake’s main patrons from the years 1794-1806. (more…)

June 11, 2014

A Transcription Puzzle: “then She bore Pale desire”, Part 3

Filed under: BAND — Tags: , , , , — Andrea H. Everett @ 2:16 pm

In my last post, we were left wondering what the “P&S.” or “E&S.” written at the bottom of one of the “Pale desire” manuscript pages could mean.  (If you haven’t been keeping up, you can find the first and second installments of our saga here and here.)  Well, Sandy and I both took a stab at it. (more…)

June 4, 2014

A Defense of Blake’s “Catalogue” and Descriptive Criticism

Filed under: BAND — Tags: , , , — Eric Loy @ 4:13 pm

By Margaret Speer

In her May 14 post, “Blake’s ‘Catalogue’ and Descriptive Criticism,” my colleague and fellow undergraduate project assistant, Megan, impugned Blake, suggesting that his tone in the Descriptive Catalogue evinces a character somewhere on a spectrum between ridiculous and certifiable. I would like to offer a different response to, if not impression of, Mr. B’s insane aggression as manifested in the Descriptive Catalogue. (more…)

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