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

Morris Eaves

Long ago, just before I took my comprehensive exams in grad school, I threw over Faulkner and American literature and took up with Blake and romanticism. A dumb move for sure in the short run, but I was young, reckless, and fascinated by pictures as well as texts and by processes as well as products. I also had a lingering thing about the Bible (my wife Georgia and I named our first son Obadiah—he has my Blake dissertation to blame).  I almost failed my exams but, in the long run, Blake did fit the bill. There’s more to say—about the imagemaking crafts, editorial theory and practice, and the wide world of romantic aesthetics—but to get to The William Blake Archive in two quick steps:  for me, the Archive emerged at the intersection of these interests and several others, including the sheer pleasure of just having collaborated on a printed volume, The Early Illuminated Books (1993), with my friends and co-editors, Bob Essick and Joe Viscomi. That experience proved that we work together really well, and that the time had come for Blake’s work to be made available in a new form. A few years ago the three of us participated in an interview with Kari Kraus that still holds water, I think.  For anyone interested in the goals, history, and future of the Archive, I’d recommend Kari’s interview (published simultaneously online in Romantic Circles and in print in Studies in Romanticism).  For more about my own interests (why?), try the faculty profile on the University of Rochester’s English department’s web site.

1 Comment »

  1. I look forward to more!

    Comment by Obadiah Eaves — March 7, 2012 @ 9:50 pm


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