Prophetic Afterlife

  • John Beer
Part of the Literary Lives book series (LL)


Exploring the life of Blake leaves the biographer with unanswered questions — more than in the case of most writers. As with Shakespeare, the surviving evidence is sparse and patchy. Were many further designs and illustrations (including, perhaps, more erotic drawings than have survived) among those supposedly destroyed by Tatham after he became a zealous follower of Irving and was persuaded by some of his coreligionists that he had been ‘inspired — but by the devil’?1* And did such a holo¬caust include other writing, some of which might have thrown more light on his thought and mythologizing?


Imaginative Projection Nazi Concentration Camp York Public Library Notebook Entry Gothic Architecture 
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  1. 37.
    W.B. Yeats, Collected Poems (1950) p. 240. Although Yeats continues in the second part of the poem to muse over the poem’s origins, ‘a medium’, ‘noth-ing’, ‘the forest loam’, ‘dark night where lay I The crowns of Nineveh’, it is clear that his reading of Blake was paramount.Google Scholar
  2. 38.
    ‘E. T.’ (Jessie Chambers), D. H. Lawrence A Personal Record (1935) pp. 62–3.Google Scholar
  3. 39.
    Richard Ellman, James Joyce (1986 edn) p. 330, citing Joyce’s Critical Writings, ed. Mason and Ellman (1959) p. 218.Google Scholar
  4. 40.
    T. S. Eliot, Selected Essays (1934) p. 321.Google Scholar
  5. 44.
    Roethke, Collected Poems (1968) p. 74.Google Scholar
  6. 45.
    For a fuller discussion of these points, see Jennijoy LaBelle, The Echoing Wood of Theodore Roethke (Princeton, NJ, 1976) pp. 54–66, 92–100.Google Scholar
  7. 47.
    Saul Bellow, Herzog (NY 1964) p. 33. Cf. E 35; K 150.Google Scholar

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© John Beer 2005

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  • John Beer

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