So I was reading William Blake to my son in the cemetery . . . again. I have definitely become intrigued by his style as well as what I take to be an inversion of whatever popular form of Christianity he was encountering with a consecrated notion of evil. Mixed with this is a lingering taste of existentialism that I always have more than a slight craving for. This readings selections;
The final fragment of The Everlasting Gospel
The vision of Christ that thou dost see
Is my Vision’s Greatest Enemy.
Thine has a great hook nose like thine;
Mine has a snub nose like mine.
Thine is the friend of All Mankind;
Mine speaks in parables to the Blind.
Thine loves the same world that mine hates;
Thy Heaven Doors are my Hell Gates.
Socrates taught what Melitus
Loathed as a Nation’s bitterest Curse,
And Caiaphas was in his own Mind
A benefactor of Mankind.
Both read the Bible day & night,
But thou read’st black where I read white.
Plate 14 of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
The ancient tradition that the world will be consumed in fire at the end of six thousands years is true, as I have heard from Hell.
For the cherub with his flaming sword is hereby commanded to leave his guard at the tree of life; and when he does, the whole creation will be consumed and appear infinite and holy, whereas it now appears finite & corrupt.
This will come to pass by an improvement of sensual enjoyment.
But first the notion that man has a body distinct from his soul is to be expunged; this I shall do by printing in the infernal method, by corrosives, which in Hell are salutary and medicinal, melting apparent surfaces away and displaying the infinite which was hid.
If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite.
For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.
The only problem I perceive encountering in Blake is his genius . . . it may be too much or too little for me I am not sure yet.