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The Journal of English Language and Literature , Vol.58, No.4, 723 ~ 753, 2012
William Blake and the Network of Knowledge: Centering on the Communication of Poetry and Science
이성범 Sung Bum Lee
Although his mythic poetry deals with the fall and resurrection of Albion as the origin of humankind, William Blake (1757-1827) simultaneously links it to the professionalization and unification of disciplinary knowledge itself. He particularly takes a great interest in the cross-referential relation of poetry to science. He argues for the communication of poetry and science on equal footing with each other without the former`s prioritization over the latter, or vice versa. In his works Vala, or The Four Zoas (1797-1807) and Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion (1804-1820), on which I focus in this essay, Blake`s primary problematic is to display strong conflicts among different systems of knowledge. I approach this issue in light of the ideological clash of Newtonian thought, Romantic thought, and postmodern thought. In his poetry, Blake thematizes the very clashes of these different thought patterns. From the standpoint of Romantic thought, first of all, Blake problematizes Newtonian Enlightenment. He criticizes abstract universalization both in poetry and science, which Urizen, one of four Zoas, propagates. Protesting against Urizen`s Newtonism, Los values "living form." Thus, Blake demonstrates, through this figure, that poetic imagination and scientific organicism are discursively communicative. Blake, however, also questions the network of Romantic science and Romantic poetry so as to suggest what current critics would call postmodern thought. Blakean postmodernism pursues the self-similarity of organic structure in science and poetry. Precisely, Blake sees polypus as a proliferation of organic body; he arranges four Zoas` self-repetitive stories in a non-linear way. Blake aspires for the conflicting coexistence of different thought patterns.
Key Words
사슬, 섬유조직, 폴립, 미세한 특질들, 뉴턴 과학, 감미로운 과학, 포스트모던 사유 chain, fiber, polypus, minute particulars, Newtonian science, sweet science, postmodern thought,영미문학, 문화연구, 비교문학, 비평이론, English and American Literature, cultural studies, comparative literature, critical theory
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