Brahma in the West

Brahma in the West : William Blake and the Oriental Renaissance

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Examining William Blake's poetry in relation to the mythographic tradition of the eighteenth century and emphasizing the British discovery of Hindu literature, David Weir argues that Blake's mythic system springs from the same rich historical context that produced the Oriental Renaissance. That context includes republican politics and dissenting theology--two interrelated developments that help elucidate many of the obscurities of Blake's poetry and explain much of its intellectual energy. Weir shows how Blake's poetic career underwent a profound development as a result of his exposure to Hindu mythology. By combining mythographic insight with republican politics and Protestant dissent, Blake devised a poetic system that opposed the powers of Church and King.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 184 pages
  • 120.4 x 255.5 x 10.7mm | 249.48g
  • Albany, NY, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • Total Illustrations: 0
  • 0791458180
  • 9780791458181
  • 2,330,980

Review quote

"David Weir's approach to Blake's reconstitution of the Indian mythopoetic thought in his own terms--his locating of Blake's vision in terms of Oriental Renaissance--takes into account the history of interpretation of Hindu texts by colonialist and non-colonialist writers of the eighteenth century. As Weir suggests, in many places when the colonialist authors saw 'error and superstition, ' Blake's poetic mind encountered mythic richness. More important is the fact that Weir looks into Blake's own misreadings, locating them historically, and he makes a good case for the legitimacy of misreading as part of cross cultural influence. It is all very fascinating."
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About David Weir

David Weir is Associate Professor on the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. He is the author of Anarchy and Culture: The Aesthetic Politics of Modernism; James Joyce and the Art of Mediation; and Decadence and the Making of Modernism.
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