This volume of Romantic Circles Praxis Series 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, and Justin Van Kleeck.
Co-edited by Wayne C. Ripley and Justin Van Kleeck, Editing Blake 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's Poetry and 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.
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About the Romantic Circles Praxis Series
The Romantic Circles Praxis Series is devoted to using computer technologies for the contemporary critical investigation of the languages, cultures, histories, and theories of Romanticism. Tracking the circulation of Romanticism within these interrelated domains of knowledge, RCPS recognizes as its conceptual terrain a world where Romanticism has, on the one hand, dissolved as a period and an idea into a plurality of discourses and, on the other, retained a vigorous, recognizable hold on the intellectual and theoretical discussions of today. RCPS is committed to mapping out this terrain with the best and mo st exciting critical writing of contemporary Romanticist scholarship.
About the Contributors
Wayne C. Ripley is an Associate Professor at Winona State University. He is working on a book project regarding William Blake and Edward Young. His essay on Blake's relationship to the Hunt Circle is forthcoming in Studies in Romanticism.
David Fuller is Emeritus Professor of English and former Chairman of the Department of English in the University of Durham, England. From 2002 to 2007 he was the University's Orator. He is the author of Blake's Heroic Argument (Routledge: Chapman and Hall, 1988), James Joyce's 'Ulysses' (St Martin's, 1992), Signs of Grace (with David Brown, Cassell, 1995), and essays on a wide range of poetry, drama, and novels from Medieval to Modern. He is the editor of Tamburlaine the Great (1998), for the Clarendon Press complete works of Marlowe, of William Blake: Selected Poetry and Prose (Longman, 2000; revised 2008), and co-editor (with Patricia Waugh) of The Arts and Sciences of Criticism (Oxford, 1999). His edition with Corinne Saunders of the medieval poem Pearl modernized by Victor Watts is published by Enitharmon (2005). He is trained as a Musicologist, plays the piano and organ, and has written on opera and ballet. His recently completed The Life in the Sonnets will be published in 2011 by Continuum in the series Shakespeare Now!.
W. H. Stevenson has worked in universities in Britain, West Africa and the United States, including periods as Head of Department at Ibadan and Calabar, before his retirement from teaching some years ago. His principal work, which has continued since retirement, has been with editing William Blake's poetry and, more recently, an extensive selection of the 1611 King James Bible
Mary Lynn Johnson is the co-author, with Brian Wilkie, of Blake's "Four Zoas": The Design of a Dream (1978); co-editor, with Seraphia D. Leyda, of Reconciliations: Studies in Honor of Richard Harter Fogle (1983); and compiler of the Blake chapter in The English Romantic Poets: A Review of Research and Criticism (4th ed.,1985), ed. Frank Jordan, Jr. She contributed to The Cambridge Companion to William Blake (2003), ed. Morris Eaves; Physiognomy in Profile (2005), ed. Melissa Percival and Graeme Tytler; Women Read William Blake (2006), ed. Helen P. Bruder; and Blake in Our Time: Essays in Honour of G. E. Bentley, Jr. (2010), ed. Karen Mulhallen. Before serving as Special Assistant to the President of the University of Iowa (1983-2000), she held faculty positions at Louisiana State University, University of Illinois, and Georgia State University.
Rachel Lee is a doctoral student in the Department of English at the University of Rochester and a project assistant for the William Blake Archive. Her dissertation investigates Romantic poetics, narratives of mediation, and constructions of media history in the works of Wordsworth, Blake, and De Quincey.
J. Alexandra McGhee is a Ph.D. candidate in the English Department at the University of Rochester and a project assistant for the William Blake Archive. Her dissertation, Undead Slaves and Cannibal Gods, explores the evolution of the zombie in nineteenth-century Britain and its Caribbean colonies.
Justin Van Kleeck is an independent scholar living in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 2006 and wrote his dissertation on Blake's VALA/Four Zoas manuscript