Tuesday, 24 April 2007

The purpose of www.thefourzoas.com

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the focus of this blog is Blake's vision. it is personal but educated ongoing component of the web site..... www.thefourzoas.com...... and so is part of its content. somewhat like appendices or footnotes unfrozen by print and interactive. it is thus under copyright and no portion or whole can be re-produced by any medium without specific specific reference to www.thefourzoas.com....and the author.

i'm a little disappointed in the current 'Blake industry' disconnect with Blake's mythology and its 'ring barking' of the poet who made his own system, by a paradigmatic bonding of critics who freely agree that all have failed to find a plot.

Blake's clear, coherent system is worked out in precise detail and argued directly from the text, is explained clearly in the web site. though tiny because the field is so specialised, the site usually ranks on page one Google from many search lines, and at this point the site recieves 80-100 odd visitors per day.......... to these site visitors and to research committed students looking for dissertation contributions in particular, then, this is my major aim: namely; to watershed the last 20 odd years of the 'plotless/fractal/de-mythologized Blake' and revise as unacceptable his 'sublime incomprehensibility'.

By contrast to paradigmatic consensus on there being no plot, my site in fact traces the plots of both The Four Zoas and of Jerusalem, both for the first time. it is no longer critically plausible to deny the genius of Blake's epic completed masterpieces of plot, narrative coherence, mythological completion and consciously crafted aesthetic unity.

the rules of the Blake's myth are analogous to those of a good computer game; as complex but also as accessible and universally readable....there are no short cuts; the names, powers, icons of impact, rules of movement, dimensional and non-dimensional forces universes all have to be learned, and though it takes work its not hard.

with such learning comes the immersion into Blake's imaginative multi-dimensional 'mythic game' universe and finally the work can be grasped as an aesthetic whole . in its entirety it is a giant of a read, but if you at times like homer, vergil, eliot, shakespeare and and their few kin it is well worth learning the myth and the rules. The Four Zoas I like most because of dramatic poetry, that's personal taste. Jerusalem too has the poetry, and it is the case that both are shown to have beautifully constructed plots. they are dynamic....Blake worked them out over years. my analysis shows the architecture of Blake's editing, for examples, i show how his additions, deletions, structural organistions and mythic clarifications are textually expressed. all are thereby shown to be grounded rationally in an internally consistent and fully developed myth.

Blake's cosmic 'game' is profoundly spiritual. Its component energies, agents and dramatic persona are created and interlaced into clearly visualised vortices. infused by divine energy, that is creation to Blake for he believed that his art is inspired by divine consciousness. Blake's self-belief in his prophetic genius meant for him that the reader's imaginative possibilities for receiving prophetic revelation are thereby empowered. so, he believed as his prophetic myth becomes more clear, and more understood, some reader/viewers will ultimately, enter and be expanded and involved in enhanced salvic, intellectual and spiritually profound aesthetic experiences. he called this aesthetic, universal potentiality the Poetic Genius, and its spiritual archetecture created the city of Golgonooza. the whole of the myth is all its multi-dimensional unity of consciousness is his mythic insight into the revelation of the Bible.

in this site, it is shown that Blake's genius with plot and myth construction is such that he is able to give us a original mythic insight into prophetic aesthetics. linked into clarity by causal coherence and plot, his epics are densely filled with powerful dramatic presences, wonderful passages of dialogue and circumstance, and the morphologies of life and death and re-birth in the arms of Christ. for Blake, genius is prophetic. inspired to envision that which others cannot, he believed his prophetic expression and inspired art to be transformational. seen through the genius of his plot, Blake can be grasped as an aesthetic whole. his anglo-celtic mythic detail re-considers duration, time and space, and salvation from its finitude and its life of generation, mutual predation and individual certainty of suffering and death in the light of the risen Christ.

There have been less than a dozen full-on attempts to work out The Four Zoas. they are all huge efforts and called 'labours of love'. there is truth in the term for the work is like the 'everest' of textual criticism. however, no attempt other than my thesis has successfully outlined Blake's plot. In collective contrast to my critical position, all other critics agree between themselves that because they could not find a plot, therefore there is no plot. and as the reviews of the field here demonstrate, there is now paradigmatic consensus bonding. (Meta-text 4)

By contrast, my thesis research DOES give a successful virtually line by line analysis, and therefore in methodologically exacting detail, proves the conscious craftsmanship of Blake's plot with relentless accuracy and detail.

This line-by-line detail i think is necessary to outline beyond reasonable doubt the plots of Blake's works. The reader can make their own mind up. Once Blake's myth is understood, his epics reads fluently and easily. My doctoral committee questioned whether it was possible to write a PhD thesis on a major figure without footnotes throughout the analysis per se. they agreed the thesis was original throughout. The Professors Emeritus Frederick Cogswell (d) the leading Canadian poet and critic and Professor Emeritus David Galloway (d),
the leading Shakespearian textual critic, for example he was chairman of the 450 yr Shakespeare conference at UBC, helped supervise. In recommendating publication, they agreed the thesis 'challenged the views of greats in the field' and described it as 'brilliant', a 'remarkable contribution to Blake scholarship' and a 'major breakthrough in Blake scholarship eminently deserving of publication'.

so it is worth reading, whatever the individual scholar's resting place for plotless fractal critical laurels. Jerusalem is 20 odd years of scholarship further down the line, and is that much richer because of it. I am disappointed that in twenty years it seems none checked the Canadian national library, Ottawa, where the doctoral thesis sat waiting, like the rest, for research scholars, and professional scholars, to check completed doctorates ...... before having a go themselves. in terms of Blake's plot and aesthetic unity inThe Four Zoas, they could have saved themselves and most of all their students, years of unsuccessful conclusions when the solutions were right there.

Brilliant in many other ways, in terms of the blake's plot, i think the 'textual field' as a whole has failed our students; the 'plotless fractal Blake' for me leaves the students performing agilely in textually deficent and obselete cul-de-sac, critically unempowered to grasp The Four Zoas and Jerusalem epics as aesthetic wholes.

As it is therefore, in the context of the current state of the field, the research in the site on The Four Zoas and Jerusalem is entirely contemporary...especially to an entirely fresh generation of current and future dissertation committed research students.

In my view it is incorrect, even misleading to begin with the current critical dead-end and obselete premise that blake's The Four Zoas and Jerusalem are 'plotless'. It seems to me that it is also the case that the theories of 'compositional plotlessness' hypothesised by all other completed full-length studies need to be re-considered in the light of the research here. In short, i believe if current and future research students write of Blake's plots in The Four Zoas and Jerusalem, without benefit of these two studies, to that extent their research will fail to make a significant contribution.

in review, the analysis of The Four Zoas is now contemporary and obviously is peer reviewed. the analysis of Jerusalem (2005) is the first full length line by line analysis of the epic's plot; in this context it stands alone. to my mind the two two studies represent the 'deconstructed' myths of the two works and display the critical value of textual focus. in context, i i suggest bentley's edition...it was not available to me when i wrote much of its early draft 1970, and stayed with keynes, though reconciled with bentley and erdman, on to its completed first draft 82, and to the formal acceptance of the bound book and the award of the doctor of philosophy. 1984. the early draft was handwritten, the the electric, then the golfball and now the internet, word and individual publication. i intend on making a visual.