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Blake’s Critique of Transcendence - Love, Jealousy, and the Sublime in The Four Zoas | Oxford Scholarship Online
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Blake’s Critique of Transcendence: Love, Jealousy, and the Sublime in The Four Zoas

Peter Otto


This book examines the relation between Blake's text and the visual designs in The Four Zoas, one of the most important works in Blake's oeuvre. It uncovers a Blake deeply engaged with the cultural discourses of his time, in profound dialogue with Swedenborg, Locke, and Young. In the course of this conversation, Blake anatomizes a remarkable variety of cultural practices (including religion, science, and art) designed to achieve transcendence. He focuses in particular on the fate of the body in cultures of transcendence, developing perhaps the first theory of sexual sublimation. Blake's radica ... More

Keywords: Blake, The Four Zoas, Swedenborg, Locke, Young, transcendence, sexual sublimation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2000 Print ISBN-13: 9780198187196
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198187196.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Peter Otto, author
University of Melbourne
Author Webpage