Эссе: A review of Vision and Verse in William Blake, in Journal of English and Germanic Philology


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Эссе
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...This seems to me rather far-fetched and to claim much too much for what sound alone can tell us--even if one grants that the tiger is the creation of a demiurge. Miss Ostriker, who writes poems herself, approaches Blake with something of the attitude of a fellow professional, interested in technique. There is perhaps nothing wrong with this in a book on his verse. But Miss Ostriker puts too much emphasis on technique. She would reduce the complexity of "The Fly," for instance, by saying it is "an excellent example of a poem which achieves its ends through surface manipulation" (p. 70). Her reading of it doesn't bear her out. And what seems like a technical point of view of the professional craftsman who artfully manipulates his matter as materials in a construction gets developed to an extreme when she says, "As he proceeded in his Prophetic Books, Blake pushed God, his idea of ultimate unity, ever further back from the fallen world, apparently the better to enjoy the reunion of God and Man when it came, as it does on the final plate of Jerusalem" (p. 121). If I don't misread this, she comes dangerously close to denying the poet-prophet his prophecy and making him into a mere craftsman instead. Much of Miss Ostriker's prosodic analysis is sound, though severely limited by her decision to stick almost exclusively with two degrees of accent. It points out sound effects in somewhat the way the program notes for a symphony concert descriptively direct the listeners' attention to rhythmic motifs, thematic entries, and orchestration. But occasionally we find some serious lapses. ...