Romantic Circles is please to announce the publication of Editing and Reading Blake, a new volume in our Praxis series. Co-edited by Wayne C. Ripley and Justin Van Kleeck, this collection of essays looks at the profound challenges William Blake poses to both editors and readers. Despite the promises of the current multi-modal environment, the effort to represent Blake’s works as he intended them to be read is increasingly being recognized as an editorial fantasy. All editorial work necessitates mediation and misrepresentation. Yet editorial work also illuminates much in Blake’s corpus, and more remains to be done. The essays in this volume grapple with past, present, and future attempts at editing Blake’s idiosyncratic verbal and visual work for a wide variety of audiences who will read Blake using numerous forms of media.
Ripley’s introduction attempts to tell the history of editing Blake from the perspective of editorial remediation. Essays by W. H. Stevenson, Mary Lynn Johnson, and David Fuller, all of whom have edited successful print editions of Blake’s works, reflect on the actual work of editing and explore how the assumptions underlying editorial practices were challenged by publishers, new ideas of editing, new forms of technology, and ideas of audience. Recognizing that editorial work is never done, the volume also includes the indispensable errata to the 2008 edition of Grant and Johnson’s Blake Designs. Essays by current and past project assistants to the Blake Archive, Rachel Lee, J. Alexander McGhee, Ripley, and Van Kleeck, examine the difficulties that Blake’s heavily revised manuscripts, such as An Island in the Moon and Vala or The Four Zoas, and Blake’s illustrations of other authors, have posed both to editors working in print and to the ever-evolving Blake Archive.