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9781844679980

Blake / Paine: In Their Time and Ours

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781844679980

  • ISBN10:

    1844679985

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2014-06-17
  • Publisher: Random House Inc
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Summary

Furiously annotating a pamphlet attacking Thomas Paine's Age of Reason, William Blake challenged Thomas Paine's dismissal of miracles. Is it a greater miracle to feed five thousand men with five loaves than to overthrow all the armies of Europe with a small pamphlet? How could Paine the worker of miracles doubt their existence? As this anecdote illustrates, it is all too easy to organize our thinking about the high Enlightenment in ways that place Paine and Blake in stark opposition: Paine the debunker of Biblical fictions; Blake the ecstatic interlocutor of angels. Despite their differences, there was a profound level of sympathy between the two men. In a work that reveals their radical affinities, Marqusee shows how their writing, read together and in opposition, can enliven our understanding of war, revolution and those moments in which the horizon of the possible expands-epiphanies that were, for Blake, true miracles.

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