Love and Logic: The Evolution of Blake's Thought

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University of Michigan Press, 1992 - Literary Criticism - 314 pages
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William Blake is usually regarded as the greatest poet of mysticism in the English language. His primary theme is love--love of God, love of the Divine Humanity that he often equated with God, and the sexual love that he regarded sometimes as a embodiment and sometimes as a parody of divine love. For Blake, love was not so much a virtue as a problem, a problem that he reassessed in different ways throughout his life, using a variety of logical tools. Love and logic may seem a unusual pair of concerns, especially for a visionary poet, but author Stephen Cox believes that in Blake's work the problems of love and logic evolve together, constantly influencing each other and determining the structure of the poet's vision.
Scholars who have come to view Blake as a visionary whose work followed nonlinear processes have advanced the notion that his artistic achievement defies conventional interpretation. Love and Logic challenges the tendency in postmodern criticism to see authors and readers as confined by history, language, and logic, denied the ability to discover truth or to communicate it in determinate form. Love and Logic emphasizes Blake's ambitious quest for truth, his desire to keep telling the story of human and divine love until he got it right, using all the strategies of logic available to him.
Cox points to what he sees as the irony of Blake's relationship to his postmodern admirers: although his goals and values are antithetical to theirs, he encounters grave difficulties when he handles logic in some of the ways in which they do. In this connection, Love and Logic's analysis of the the[sic] problems of logical "substantialism" is especially important. The analysis develops the idea that it is not logic itself but a particular way of using logic that produces an effect of logical self-imprisonment.
  

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Contents

Visionary Logic
1
The Logic of Innocence
39
Contrasting Narratives
55
Attractions and Repulsions
69
Degenerative Dialectics
91
Essence and Limitation
113
The Double Plot
127
Logic on Logic Begets Logic
145
Vertical and Horizontal
205
Multiples of Two
225
Loves Parodies 24 1
241
The Function of Flaws
255
The Logical Visionary
275
Notes
281
Works Cited
301
Index
311

The Ruins of The Zoas
167
Love among the Ruins
183

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About the author (1992)

Steve Cox has devoted his life to chronicling classic TV. A frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times and TV Guide, he has written books on The Addams Family (the old-money ghouls), Gilligan's Island, Green Acres, The Tonight Show, and Many other great shows. He lives in Burbank, California.

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