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Dangerous EnthusiasmWilliam Blake and the Culture of Radicalism in the 1790s$
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Jon Mee

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198183297

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198183297.001.0001

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Introduction: Blake the Bricoleur

Introduction: Blake the Bricoleur

(p.1) Introduction: Blake the Bricoleur
Dangerous Enthusiasm

Jon Mee

Oxford University Press

This book attempts to argue that the radicalism of William Blake's rhetoric in the late 1790s was much more fundamental than is recognized. His work can be shown to be steeped in political significances and to gain an extra dimension in the context of the controversy over the French Revolution. This book points out that Blake's rhetorical practices operated across a consistent political topology. They did not offer the route to some irreducible and invariable ideology, but they can be shown to have been part of a complex political perspective which was directly involved with the discourse of radicalism in the 1790s. Central to the book's endeavour is the use of the notion ‘bricolage’, a term which implies diversity in the object of study and looks beyond the attempt merely to fix and limit texts within already unified intellectual traditions.

Keywords:   William Blake, radicalism, French Revolution, bricolage, rhetoric, political topology

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