Editing and Reading Blake

This volume 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. This volume is edited by Wayne C. Ripley and Justin Van Kleeck. It includes an editor's introduction by Wayne C. Ripley, with essays by David Fuller, W. H. Stevenson, Mary Lynn Johnson, Rachel Lee and J. Alexandra McGhee, Justin Van Kleeck, and Wayne C. Ripley.

Van Kleeck, "Editioning William Blake's VALA/The Four Zoas"

In this article, I examine the editorial history of Blake's VALA/Four Zoas manuscript in order to show how individual editors have influenced our understanding of the work through their editorial biases and their editions. I argue that we must make such critical examinations of editions when using them. Finally, I discuss how electronic editions provide more freedom and more critical methods for engaging with Blake's work. This essay appears in _Editing and Reading Blake_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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Stevenson, "The Ends of Editing"

'The Ends of Editing' is a discussion of the problems, textual and interpretative, faced by an editor charged with the preparation of a scholarly edition of an author's work (in particular the writing of William Blake), or a group of works. This essay appears in _Editing and Reading Blake_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

The first thought when planning to row the Atlantic must be: "Where to start from?" Then, having reached halfway, the only thought is: "Will this ever end?" The editor of works as vast as Blake's probably has similar, if less physical thoughts.

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Ripley, "Introduction: Editing Blake"

This essay examines the historical and technical difficulties of editing William Blake, surveying the key problems of textual and visual representation between the mid-nineteenth and early twenty-first century. This essay appears in _Editing and Reading Blake_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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Ripley, "Delineation Editing of Co-Texts: William Blake's Illustrations"

Focusing on Blake's illustration of book by other authors, Ripley proposes a Blakean method of social text editing. This essay appears in _Editing and Reading Blake_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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Lee & McGhee - "'The productions of time': Visions of Blake in the Digital Age"

Our article discusses the preparation of an electronic edition of Blake's manuscript, An Island in the Moon, in the context of collaborative editing and digital humanities scholarship. As project assistants on the William Blake Archive, we have been forced to reconsider the reader of Blake as a user in a new digital landscape in which manuscript images, digital transcripts, and editorial annotations can appear simultaneously--or not, as the user chooses. In this complex electronic environment, we strive to offer the reader/user flexibility and sustainability while maintaining the editorial policies of the Blake Archive. This essay appears in _Editing And Reading Blake_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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Johnson, "Contingencies, Exigencies, and Editorial Praxis: The Case of the 2008 Norton Blake"

In updating the Norton Critical Edition of _Blake's Poetry and Designs_ (1979; 2008) to include the entire textual portion of _Jerusalem_, editors Mary Lynn Johnson and John E. Grant attempted to continue engaging and informing first-time readers of Blake within the constraints of the publisher's current editorial and fiscal policies. This anecdotal case history considers the influence of unforeseen contingencies and exigencies in book production upon high-minded editorial praxis. This essay appears in _Editing and Reading Blake_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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Editing And Reading Blake

This volume 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. This volume is edited by Wayne C. Ripley and Justin Van Kleeck. It includes an editor's introduction by Wayne C. Ripley, with essays by David Fuller, W. H. Stevenson, Mary Lynn Johnson, Rachel Lee and J. Alexandra McGhee, Justin Van Kleeck, and Wayne C. Ripley.

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September, 2010

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Fuller, "Modernizing Blake's Text: Syntax, Rhythm, Rhetoric"

This essay discusses the various difficulties of all methods of presenting Blake's text arguing that all forms, including facsimile and apparently purist letterpress, involve characteristic misrepresentations. It then argues the positive value of modernizing punctuation. Helping the reader to understand Blake's syntax releases attention to other expressive aspects of poetic form, particularly rhythm and the quasi-musical structures of Blake's rhetoric.. This essay appears in _Editing and Reading Blake_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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