The Narrative Structure of William Blake's Poem Jerusalem: A Revisionist Interpretation of the Text and Poems (Hardback)R. Paul Yoder (author)
Hardback 208 Pages / Published: 01/03/2010
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This book argues that William Blake's last major poem, "Jerusalem", possesses a narrative structure. This argument runs contrary to the critical consensus that sees the poem as possessing a 'synchronic' structure. After tracing the development of the synchronic approach, the book addresses the arguments of Morton Paley and Vincent de Luca that provide the most important foundation of the synchronic readings. The study then offers one possible outline for a narrative reading of the poem, together with a narrative explanation for the poem's most vexing structural problem - the two versions of Chapter 2. Having shown the possibility and value of a narrative reading, the study examines Blake's 'rhetoric of discontinuity', the particular techniques Blake uses to obscure the narrative in ways that force the reader to confront issues of character, identity, setting and continuity. Finally, the book argues that the issues that drive the narrative's conflict are in fact the same issues that divide the synchronic reading from the narrative reading, and that Blake was made acutely aware of these issues by his experience of patronage under William Hayley during his three-year stay in Felpham.
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd
Number of pages: 208
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