William Blake (born November 28, 1757 in London ; † August 12, 1827 there ) was an English poet , nature mystic , painter and the inventor of relief etching . Both his artistic and literary work was largely rejected by his contemporaries. It was not until the middle of the 19th century that his very innovative work was discovered by the Pre-Raphaelites , was widely recognized and later spread in popular culture .
The first complete edition of Blake's works was published in 1893 by the Irish poets William Butler Yeats and Edwin Ellis.
As a child, William Blake is said to have had the " second face " and had visions of angels and prophets, which he processed in poems and pictures. Blake's parents were dissenters who deviated from the high church and probably belonged to the Moravian Brothers . The Bible was one of the defining influences on Blake and remained a source of inspiration for him throughout his life .
Williams' father was a middle-class stocking maker and trader. His parents realized early on that their son was unsuitable for school or a regular job because of his idiosyncratic temperament, so William never went to school. He was tutored at home by his mother Catherine Wright Armitage Blake and was enrolled in one of the most important London drawing schools at the age of ten. In 1772 Blake began an apprenticeship with the engraver James Basire. Upon graduation, Blake became a student at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1779 . With his admission to the Royal Academy of Arts, a successful career as a history painter seemed to be mapped out for William Blake . But he fell out with the Academy President, the portrait painter Sir Joshua Reynolds , who disapproved of Blake's work. With this, his hopes for a career as a history painter were dashed.
In 1782 he married Catherine Boucher. Although she came from a humble background, she continued her education through her own studies and helped Blake with her technical skills in the production of some of his most famous works. In 1784 Blake opened a print shop in London and worked as an engraver and illustrator until his death, poor and largely unnoticed. However, he found various friends and benefactors who u. a. helped through the phases of greatest financial difficulties through work orders. The poet William Hayley was one of them. After first contacts between Hayley and Blake in 1800, Blake decided to move to Felpham, Sussex, the place where Hayley lived. William Blake and his wife stayed there for three years, and then moved to London for the rest of their lives. The 45-year marriage remained childless, possibly with the exception of a stillborn girl.
From today's perspective, Blake's poems are among the most important works of English poetry; his drawings are counted among the great works of English art. During his lifetime, however, Blake was long considered an incomprehensible visionary, whose mystical worldview was viewed as an expression of spiritual confusion.
It was only very late in his life, around 1818, that Blake was able to experience that a new generation of artists (even if only in limited numbers) began to appreciate his work. The concept of the artist as a prophetic force and spiritual guide had become increasingly important.
The actual originality of Blake and his prophetic view of the dangers or undesirable developments of modernity were mostly only recognized in the 20th century. In the last third of the 20th century he was also appropriated as a “liberator”, especially in the esoteric alternative culture.
The grave of William and Catherine Blake is in Bunhill Fields Cemetery in North London. The exact location was unknown for a long time, but a symbolic tombstone was placed nearby. Luis and Carol Garrido determined the actual grave location, in August 2018 the grave was provided with a plate with an inscription.
Intellectual historical assessment
Blake not only abhorred slavery, but also believed in racial and gender equality. He combined these astonishingly modern-looking views with a near-natural spirituality developed against the established churches and a deep distrust of the emerging materialism . Blake was politically influenced by both the American and French revolutions , theoretically, among others, by Lavater , Swedenborg and Winckelmann .
Blake's views were often shocking to the orthodox Christians of his day, although he always felt closely tied to the New Testament in his own way . One of Blake's strongest objections to Christian doctrine was that it took a stand for the suppression of natural desire and against living sensual pleasure. Blake believed that people's joy was a praise to God, and that the world's life-negating religions, including true Christians, were actually worshiping Satan . He considered Satan to be an embodiment of error and a "state of death."
In Vision of the Last Judgments Blake wrote: “Men are admitted into Heaven not because they have curbed & govern'd their Passions or have No Passions, but because they have Cultivated their Understandings” (“People are taken into Heaven, not because they restrained and conquered their passions or had no passions at all, but because they cultivated their understanding of things ”).
Blake combined admiration for the mind with a visionary show that contemporaries often interpreted as madness, but for Blake it represented an expansion of understanding, an expansion of consciousness. To that extent that both the with is understandable mescaline experimenting writer Aldous Huxley one of his books than even psychedelic elements used rock group The Doors and one of their works to the starting line of the most famous sayings appointed by Blake: The Doors of Perception - The Doors of Perception : "If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite." ("If the gates of perception were cleaned, everything would appear to man as it is : infinite." - Or a translation that the spiritual dimension of Blake perhaps corresponds more closely: "If the gates of knowledge were cleared, everything would appear to man as it is: limitless and unrestricted.")
Blake reported about himself that his everyday perceptions were constantly accompanied and overlaid by visions. For example, at sunrise he not only saw the return of light, but also a cheering choir of angels. For him nature and the world were therefore only signs and in this sense gateways to heaven and to the eternal world of the hereafter, on which Blake's real interest was directed. In his anti-rationalist worldview and his personal mythology as well as his special explorative use of images, this spiritualization of nature played an essential role.
Many contemporaries thought Blake was a harmless eccentric. Possibly this assessment saved him from personal persecution because of his radical political views, especially in the years after 1793, when the social situation in England became increasingly repressive in view of the revolutionary events in France.
Blake saw in the artist a connection to the divine. The human form appeared to him as a living embodiment of the deity. The god of established Christianity was for him an authoritarian, law-restricting deity. And the being that is seen as the devil in this religion was the first for him to protest against it. The priests, in his eyes guardians of a perverted religion, prevented people from unleashing their energy and fantasies. It was in Blake's great vision that people would be able to overcome all limitations, all divisions, and come to a view of oneness that would be liberating for them.
Blake received his artistic training from the engraver James Basire, who had a very traditional way of working. During his subsequent study time at the Royal Academy of Arts , he was not further promoted by its President Joshua Reynolds ; Instead, more significant role models for Blake were young artists such as the sculptor John Flaxman or the painter Johann Heinrich Füssli , who became a source of inspiration for him. Much later, a complex personal and artistic relationship developed between Blake and Füssli, who called himself Henry Fuseli in England.
A lasting friendship also developed with the sculptor John Flaxman during his time at the Royal Academy. Blake worked as a draftsman, painter and engraver. He was enthusiastic about the Gothic and in his early days only allowed Raphael , Michelangelo and Albrecht Dürer to be considered painters. He had visions, especially of men of old times or of animal souls (e.g. that of a flea), which he drew.
Blake's visions began in his childhood, and they have been with him throughout his life. From Blake's later remarks it can be concluded that he believed that at least part of his visions were shaped by the power of his own imagination. Whatever the nature of Blake's visions, they helped him base his art on mystical experience, and so "vision" became an integral part of his creativity.
As a radical artist, Blake became a one-man entrepreneur who single-handedly produced his books: he wrote the verses, designed the pictures, made the printing plates using the relief etching technique he invented and colored the prints with the help of his wife. In this way he evaded commercial constraints, but lost part of his audience.
Even under poor living conditions he found fulfillment in his art. “If there ever was a happy intellectual”, says his biographer Peter Ackroyd , “then it was this artist.” While still on his deathbed, he was working on a new version of his painting And God Created the World. His last words are said to have been: "I'm going to a country that I've always wanted to see."
Due to the obscurity in which Blake spent much of his life, significant parts of his work have been lost; others are kept scattered. An adequate overview of Blake's entire poetic and graphic oeuvre can therefore still only be obtained with difficulty.
His remarkable eidetic ability can be seen in his earliest works. Of his seven years apprenticeship with the engraver James Basire, Blake spent nearly four years at Westminster Abbey , sketches for engravings commissioned by the Society of Antiquaries . His first poetic attempts were probably made during this time, from which the statuary element in his work probably originated.
After studying at the Royal Academy of Arts , Blake found his livelihood through commissions from the radical bookseller and publisher Joseph Johnson ; the help of friends like Flaxman enabled Blake to print his first book Poetical sketches in 1783 , a collection of poems and prose written between 1769 and 1777.
At the end of the eighties, Blake began to combine text and image, which is characteristic of him, whereby both were engraved and printed together and then colored by hand. In 1791 his book The French Revolution was published.
The Songs of Innocence , which Blake later combined with the Songs of Experience , are among the first fully developed works of this technique , along with The Book of Thel , an epic poem and the earliest of his “prophetic” books. Blake printed the songs himself as relief etchings. His wife Catherine helped him color the prints.
At the same time, Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience are an expression of the “two contrary states of the human soul” , his world of thoughts or way of thinking, which is shaped by antagonisms and contrasts, as well as his rebellion against conventions and traditions.
In addition to the etchings for Edward Young's Night Thoughts (1797, reprints at Folio Society , London), the two volumes of poetry Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience (1789–94, 2 volumes) are counted among Blake's most important works.
Blake wanted to show "two different states of the soul" in the songs . He sees in the child a sign of unspoiled potential in which evil does not yet exist. Evil is only created through the suppression of the human spirit. Criticism of social conditions and of established, institutionalized Christianity can be found in these poems again and again. Blake sees the task of the prophetic artist precisely in delivering this criticism in a clear manner.
For a time Blake was influenced by the work of the Swedish philosopher and mystic Emanuel Swedenborg and the writings of the German mystic Jakob Böhme . His reading of the works of these mystics as well as the Bible and the writings of John Milton led him to believe that the original unity of God and man was not completely destroyed by the fall , but that God is present in the human imagination. In the Annotations to Berkeley's <<Siris>> he writes : “Man is All Imagination. God is Man & exists in us & we in him ” .
Blake broke away from Swedenborg with The Marriage of Heaven and Hell ( 1790-93 ), a unique, experimental collection of aphorisms in which the orthodox categories of morality were questioned. Against Swedenborg's principle of balance, Blake sets in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell , which is partly a satirical replica of his Treatise concerning Heaven and Hell (English 1778), the principle of living opposition, whereby good and bad are in his view only inadequate abstractions were. With a sequence of paradoxical aphorisms and reflections, Blake tried in the following to further consolidate his counter-system to the prevailing conventional moral concepts;
In America: a Prophecy (1793), the first work of his Continental Prophecies , Blake transforms the American colonies' struggle for freedom against British rule into a “furious cosmic battle”.
In 1794 the poem Europe: a Prophecy was published , which is full of dark mythology and is designed to contrast with America . In later works Blake expanded this mythology of his political prophecies into an independent, self-contained mythological cosmos.
The so-called Lambeth Books , the title of which refers to Blake's residence in Lambeth from 1790 to 1800, contain epic-biblical prophecies that are grouped around the central First book of Urizen (1794/95). In their impressive combination of image and text, they show Blake's understanding of creation and the fall of man. The first book of Urizen , with its symbolic figures that are repeatedly loaded with meaning, can be understood as the Bible of Hell proclaimed by Blake in The marriage of Heaven and Hell and as the reversal of John Milton ’s Paradise Lost .
Among the last significant works by Blake in the form of illuminated printing , after Vala or the Four Zoas (1795–1807), Milton (1809) and Jerusalem, The emanation of the giant Albion (1804–20), in which he describes Hebrew and Germanic and tried to fuse Celtic myths into a new cosmology. While Milton represents the conclusion and at the same time the climax of Blake's long-standing engagement with Milton's work and opens up similar cosmic dimensions as Paradise lost , Jerusalem delivers Blake's last great prophecy about the fall of the giant Albion and his awakening to eternal life.
Jerusalem is also the longest of his prophetic works. However, it must not be confused with Blake's poem And did those feet in ancient time , which was later set to music by Hubert Parry and which is now also known as an anthem under the name Jerusalem . And did those feet in ancient time appeared in the preface to Blake's poetry Milton (1809).
In Blake's own mythology, Jerusalem itself represents freedom. In the course of the poem, the reunification of Albion and Jerusalem becomes an act of liberation for alienated humanity, an overcoming of divisions, opposites and divisions. Blake's vision of liberation has both a social and a psychological or spiritual dimension. For him, human brotherhood is a religion that is lived as he understands it. For him, they are identical. He formulates in Jerusalem : “I know no other Christianity and no other Gospel than the freedom of both body and spirit to exercise the divine arts of imagination - imagination, the real and the eternal world from which this vegetable- Universe is only a faint shadow. ”And he goes on to appeal that everyone should do their best in some form of spiritual endeavor in building Jerusalem.
Blake's first experiment at combining text and image, the Songs of Innocence and Experience , mostly contains shorter, differently executed lyrical poems such as The Lamb , The Sick Rose , The Fly or The Tyger , which show an extremely high degree of classical perfection and are among the most famous poems in English literature. They form pairs of contrasts and, in their contradictions, throw each other a satirical light that Blake most likely deliberately intended.
In contrast, the texts of the following visionary works created in the form of illuminated printing correspond to the conventional formal design principles only in exceptional cases, even though they incorporate such forms or are developed from them. In the true sense of the word, they are no longer poems, but rather free, formally self-sufficient poetry, in which Blake repeatedly uses his own, quite idiosyncratic meters up to long lines that are otherwise hardly used.
These works also include “ prose poems ”, such as in the book publication Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790–1793), which follows a dialectical argumentation pattern. The majority of the later works of Blake shows a clearly discernible tendency to epic, but rather the particular mythological elements by small epic or Epyllion to you, as in the ancient and Renaissance is found. This is particularly true of Milton (1803 to approx. 1808), who in itself represents a prophetic self-projection of Blake broken through the medium of the great epic poet John Milton.
In all the inversions, refractions or entanglements that characterize Blake's poems in their formal design and their eclecticism in terms of content and thought , it is less the references to other individual works or individual authors that are significant than Blake's recourse to earlier epochs as a whole. On the one hand, this recourse represents a demonstrative form of rejection or exclusion with which Blake intends to intellectually eliminate the previous epochs, which from his point of view were negatively charged; On the other hand, they contain a symbolic gesture of agreement with which Blake tries to identify his poetry - like other English romantics after him - as a renaissance of the Renaissance in order to claim the restoration of a spiritually and literarily sound world for himself in literary history.
Above all, Blake's visionary poems Vala or the Four Zoas and Jerusalem turn out to be unique thought epics in which the different worldviews collide in the form of a heroic confrontation. Against the literary background of the biblical primeval world and the infinite cosmos of Milton, Blake proclaims his conception of the poetic mission as well as his goal of imagining a new world of the liberated man who finds new greatness. Although some of Blake's visions remain impenetrable or incomprehensible, they nonetheless show his almost limitless imagination or his almost unlimited imagination.
No other poet or writer of his day thought, argued, or created works on a scale similar to that of Blake, who opposed an entire cultural tradition. A tradition that for him was shaped and limited by the Enlightenment and the claim to the rule of reason. In Blake's works, the titanic became his specific characteristic in terms of image and language, as did his fundamental technique of exaggeration, sometimes quite comparable to a satirical exaggeration, such as that found in the epic satires of the Augustan Age , which Blake hated .
- Beatrice in the coach speaks to Dante , 1824–27, pen and ink drawing in watercolors, 37 × 52 cm. London, Tate Gallery
- Der Alte der Tage (cover picture for Europe: a Prophecy ), 1794, color monotype, 23 × 17 cm. Manchester, Whitworth Art Gallery
- The Simony Pope , 1824-27, pen and ink drawing in watercolors, 52 × 37 cm. London, Tate Gallery
- The wise and the foolish virgins , 1805, pen and ink drawing, 40 × 33 cm. London, Tate Gallery
- Three Parzen , pen and ink drawing in watercolors, 43 × 58 cm. London, Tate Gallery
- Archangel Raphael with Adam and Eve , 1808, pen drawing with watercolors, 50 × 40 cm. Boston, Museum of Fine Arts
- The great red dragon and the woman clothed in the sun , 1806-09 pen and ink drawing in watercolors, New York, Brooklyn Museum
- around 1788: All Religions Are One
- around 1788: There is no Natural Religion
- 1789: Songs of Innocence , including the poem The Lamb (Das Lamm)
- 1790-93: The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
- 1793: America: a Prophecy
- 1793: Urizen (The First Book)
- 1793–94: Songs of Experience , therein Hear the voice of the Bard
- 1794: Europe: a Prophecy
- 1795: The Song of Los ( Africa , Asia )
- 1804–1811: Milton, a Poem
- 1804-20: Jerusalem - The Emanation of the Giant Albion
Artists influenced by William Blake
- David Almond was inspired by William Blake in his youth book Skellig .
- The title of the science fiction novel Tiger! Tiger! by Alfred Bester is a quote from the poem The Tyger , the first lines of which precede the novel.
- The 2007 novel Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier deals with Blake's life in London at the end of the 18th century. William Blake's poem Tyger, tyger, burning bright gave the novel its name.
- In the 2009 novel Der Gesang der Bats ( Polish : Prowadź swój pług przez kości umarłych ) by Olga Tokarczuk , the main heroine Janina Duszejko deals with the translation of a work by Blake.
- The book Liber AL vel Legis , written by the occultist Aleister Crowley , is indebted in structure, style and idea to William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell , especially the last section "A Song Of Liberty".
- Thomas Harris ' novel Red Dragon , according to Blake's image , clothed with the sun The Great Red Dragon and the Woman named. The main character, a psychopathic killer, becomes obsessed with this image and eventually steals it from the Brooklyn Museum to eat.
- Aldous Huxley used "The Doors of Perception", a term from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell , as a book title (Eng. The gates of perception ). Huxley's book, in turn, is said to have provided the inspiration for the name of the rock band The Doors .
- George Orwell borrowed the title of his autobiographical essay Such, such were the joys from a line from Blake's poem The Echoing Green .
- Philip Pullman quotes in the introduction to the English edition of his trilogy His dark materials William Blake's comment on Paradise Lost from The Marriage of Heaven and Hell : “The reason Milton wrote in fetters when he wrote of Angels & God, and at liberty when of Devils & Hell, is because he was a true Poet and of the Devil's party without knowing it. ”According to Pullman, reading Blake's works inspired him to write his own.
- Tracy Chevalier, known for her worldwide success "The Girl with the Pearl Earring", tells in her latest novel "The Songs of Mr. Blake", in the original "Burning Bright", about William Blake and his difficulties with the so-called "Loyalists", who wanted to protect the English royalty from the effects of the French Revolution, in 1792 and 1793.
- Philip José Farmer refers in his " World of Tiers " cycle to the mythology of William Blake and adopts his god names Urizen, Los, Vala, Luvah and other "Lords" who create the pocket universes, heirs of a far advanced and no longer of themselves understood technology.
- The American poet Allen Ginsberg was a great admirer of Blake's poetry. She influenced his writing significantly, including his most famous long poem Howl .
- The brilliant young computer scientist Edmond Kirsch in Dan Brown's novel Origin shows a passionate interest in Blake as a visionary artist.
Classical music & jazz
Blake's verses were set to music by a number of important, mostly English, composers. The following is a shortlist of composers and their Blake-based works. The most famous settings are Benjamin Britten's version of The Sick Rose ( Elegy from the Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings ) and Hubert Parry's choral work Jerusalem after Blakes And did those feet in ancient time (the poem is part of the poem Milton , 1804), alongside Rule, Britannia! the “unofficial national anthem” of Great Britain and a staple on every Last Night of the Proms .
- William Alwyn : Songs of Experience
- George Antheil : Songs of Experience
- Malcolm Arnold : Five William Blake Songs
- Granville Bantock : The Fly; Three Blake Songs; The Tyger
- William Bolcom : Songs of Experience, Songs of Innocence
- Havergal Brian : The Birds; The Blossom; The Chimney Sweeper; The Echoing Green; The fly; Infant joy; The lamb; The Land of Dreams; Laughing Song; The Little Boy Lost; Pastoral - The Shepherd; Piping Down the Valleys Wild; Spring - Sound the Flute!
- Benjamin Britten : A Cradle Song; Elegy; Songs and Proverbs of William Blake; Sound the flute!
- Henry Cowell : Daybreak
- Paul Hindemith : The Wild Flower's Song
- Gustav Holst : Cradle Song
- John Ireland : The Darkened Valley; Memory
- Hannes Loeschel feat. Phil Minton : Songs of Innocence
- Michael Nyman : O Rose, Thou Art Sick
- Hubert Parry : Jerusalem
- Roger Quilter : Three Blake Songs
- George Rochberg : Blake Songs
- Leif Segerstam : Six Songs of Experience
- John Tavener : The Lamb; The Tyger
- Virgil Thomson : Five Songs from William Blake; The Sunflower
- Mike Westbrook : The Westbrook Blake - Bright as Fire
- Ralph Vaughan Williams : Ten Blake Songs
- William Walton : Holy Thursday
- David Axelrod : Songs of Innocence; Songs of Experience
- John Zorn : A Vision in Blakelight
- Bo Holten : Six Poems by William Blake
- Lucien Posman : 10 Songs of Experience; To Morning; To the Evening Star; The Book of Los (after William Blake) .
- Georges Lentz : Jerusalem (after Blake)
- Enjott Schneider : The Fire of Innocence in the Darkness of World
Rock and pop music
A number of rock and pop musicians were also addressed by Blake's often dark verse.
- Arthur Brown quotes verses from Blake in his songs.
- Bruce Dickinson , singer of the heavy metal band Iron Maiden , dedicated his solo album A Chemical Wedding , released in 1998, entirely to William Blake: some of the lyrics and the entire artwork are inspired by Blake.
- The line of verse "Some are born to sweet delight, some are born to the endless night" from Blake's poem Auguries of Innocence was quoted by the Doors in End Of The Night . In addition, the band is said to have been named after the quote "If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite" from the essay The Marriage of Heaven and Hell .
- Jerusalem by Emerson, Lake and Palmer is a version of Parry's song.
- The British band Fat Les set Blake's poem And did those feet in ancient times to music in their song Jerusalem .
- In 1993, London was edited by the German folk rock band Fiddler's Green .
- The Brandenburg neofolk band Sonne Hagal adapted several works by Blake, including The Sick Rose , the introductions to Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience as well as parts of his poetical sketches .
- Jahrtal , another Neofolk project by the Tyrolean musician Ewald Spiss , even dedicated an entire album to Blake under the title William Blake: Songs of Innocence and Accidents as an “interesting mixture of old traditional songs á la Zupfgeigenhansel and psychedelic hippie folk in the style of the 60s "
- Patti Smith processed her childhood admiration for Blake on the album Trampin ' entitled My Blakean Year
- David Axelrod released two albums based on Blake's works, "Songs Of Innocence" and "Songs Of Experience", on Capitol Records in 1968 and 1969 , which were often sampled by musicians of hip-hop culture.
- Jah Wobble released an album in 2006 called Inspiration of William Blake , which includes adaptations of Songs of Innocence , Auguries of Innocence and Tyger Tyger .
- Shpongle named an album after the Blake quote "Nothing lasts (...) but nothing is lost" and used other samples with quotes.
- In 1987 , Tangerine Dream was the first German music formation to set a text by William Blake ( The Tyger ) to music . Two other settings can be found on a studio album released in 2007.
- The Norwegian band Ulver set the entire prose poem of the same name to music on the 1998 ambient / industrial metal album Themes from William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell .
- The Verve adapted Blakes London for the song History .
- The American punk rock band Bad Religion begins their song God Song with a strongly modified quote from the first lines of Blake's poem Jerusalem : "And did those feet in ancient times trod on America's pastures of green".
- In 2010 the German band Mantus set Blake's work “The Wedding of Heaven and Hell” to music and released it as an album.
- Joan Baez recites London to a composition by Peter Schickele (PDQ Bach) on her 1968 album Baptism - A Journey Through Our Time
- Blake's picture "Nebuchadnezzar" is the cover picture of the album cover "Death Walks Behind You" by the band Atomic Rooster
- The 2001 album Boundless by the Finnish a cappella group Rajaton features the piece Poison Tree by Laura Sippola .
- The 2013 album "Big Red Dragon - William Blake's Visions" by the Italian rock singer Sophya Baccini is inspired by the pictures of William Blake and contains a setting of Jerusalem .
- The American indie rock band Sparklehorse set the poem London to music on a single of the same name.
- Pet Shop Boys quote from Blake's poem The Land Of Dreams in Inside a Dream on the Electric album .
- The Greek metal band Rotting Christ used the poem O For A Voice Like Thunder as the lyrics in their song of the same name.
- In 2014 and 2017 U2 released the albums "Songs Of Innocence" and "Songs Of Experience" inspired by Blake's work of the same name.
- Ridley Scott quotes William Blake's "America: A Prophecy" for his Frankenstein story in "Blade Runner" (1982). Replicant Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) says: “Fiery the Angels fell, and as they fell deep thunder roll'd around their shores. Indignant burning with the fires of Orc ". A slight modification of the original lines.
- In the film Dead Man (1995) by director Jim Jarmusch , the main character is a man named William Blake (played by Johnny Depp ), who is mistaken for the reincarnation of William Blake by an Indian .
- In the film Tomb Raider (2001) by director Simon West , the character Lara Croft , played by Angelina Jolie , is confronted with the poem quotation from “Auguries of Innocence” (quotation: “To see a World in a grain of sand, / And a Heaven in a wild flower, / Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, / And Eternity in an hour. "), which she comments with" William Blake ", and which can be found in the corresponding book in her library.
- For the multimedia production Hochzit va Himmel und Hell (2005) by the composer and director Knut Remond in the Lengenbach mineral mine in the Binn valley in the Valais Alps, excerpts from the work The Marriage of Heaven and Hell were translated into Walliser German by William Blake . The project begins with a letter from the painter Johann Heinrich Füssli to his friend William Blake.
- In the coming-of-age film The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys (2002) by director Peter Care , Blake's book The Marriage of Heaven and Hell plays for the 14-year-old protagonist, rebellious students at a Catholic school in the USA in the 1970s, an important role.
- Blake's poem "Broken Love" is frequently quoted in the film "The Heart of Me" (2002) and is used as a guiding theme for forgiveness.
- Blake's painting of the Great Red Dragon to the clothed by the sun woman plays a major role in the film Manhunter and the remake Red Dragon ( Red Dragon ). In these films from the Hannibal Lecter series, the title character murders with the justification that this is the will of the red dragon from Blake's drawing. The painting is part of a series of commissioned works on biblical subjects that Blake carried out for his friend and benefactor Thomas Butts. This picture was taken around 1806 and relates to the Revelation of John .
- In the final episode of the second season of the series " The Mentalist ", the serial killer Red John quotes the first verse of Blake's "The Tyger". He compares himself to this tiger, which also kills naturally.
- In the film Die Spur von Agnieszka Holland , the protagonist translates and interprets the poem “The Mental Traveler” together with a student.
- In the film Hunt for Millions (1947) by Robert Rossen , Peggy ( Liselotte Pulver ) quotes the first verse of "The Tyger" from Songs of Experience .
- Edwin John Ellis / William Butler Yeats (eds.): The works of William Blake; poetic, symbolic, and critical. Edited with lithographs of the illustrated Prophetic books, and a memoir and interpretation by Edwin John Ellis and William Butler Yeats, 3 vols., London 1893, Bernard Quaritch.
- Kathleen Raine: World of Art: William Blake . Ed .: Thames & Hudson. World of Art S., 1970, ISBN 0-500-20107-2 , p. 216 (English).
- William Vaughan: William Blake , London, 1999, 2008, Tate Publishing, p. 15.
- William Vaughan: William Blake , London, 1999, 2008, Tate Publishing, p. 22.
- Peter Ackroyd: Blake , London 1995, 1999, Vintage, p. 224.
- William Vaughan: William Blake , London, 1999, 2008, Tate Publishing, p. 78.
- Damon, Samuel Foster (1988). A Blake Dictionary
- See Bernhard Fabian : The English literature. Volume 2: Authors. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 3rd edition, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-04495-0 , p. 35.
- William Vaughan: William Blake , London, 1999, 2008, Tate Publishing, p. 61.
- See Bernhard Fabian : The English literature. Volume 2: Authors. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 3rd edition, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-04495-0 , p. 38.
- orf.at: William Blake finally has a tombstone . Article dated August 12, 2018, accessed August 12, 2018.
- Feministezine.com: William Blake's Ecofeminism .
- cf. Hans Ulrich Seeber: The literature of romanticism . In: Hans Ulrich Seeber (Ed.): English literary history . 4th ext. Ed. JB Metzler, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-476-02035-5 , pp. 230-262, here p. 240.
- William Vaughan: William Blake , London, 1999, 2008, Tate Publishing, p. 37.
- William Vaughan: William Blake , London, 1999, 2008, Tate Publishing, pp. 30/31.
- Verlag Randomhouse: Book information on Peter Ackroyd: William Blake. Poet, painter, visionary ( Memento of the original from August 17, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. .
- William Vaughan: William Blake , London, 1999, 2008, Tate Publishing, p. 36.
- See William Vaughan: William Blake , London, 1999, 2008, Tate Publishing, p. 18. See also Bernhard Fabian : Die englische Literatur. Volume 2: Authors. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 3rd edition, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-04495-0 , p. 35 f.
- William Vaughan: William Blake , London, 1999, 2008, Tate Publishing, p. 21.
- Peter Ackroyd: Blake , London 1995, 1999, Vintage, p. 25.
- Peter Ackroyd: Blake , London 1995, 1999, Vintage, p. 192.
- William Vaughan: William Blake , London, 1999, 2008, Tate Publishing, p. 12.
- See Bernhard Fabian : The English literature. Volume 2: Authors. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 3rd edition, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-04495-0 , p. 35 f. See also Rolf Lessenich: Blake, William. In: Metzler Lexicon of English-Speaking Authors . 631 portraits - from the beginning to the present. Edited by Eberhard Kreutzer and Ansgar Nünning , Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2002, ISBN 3-476-01746-X , 666 p. (Special edition Stuttgart / Weimar 2006, ISBN 978-3-476-02125-0 ), p. 50 .
- Peter Ackroyd: Blake , London 1995, 1999, Vintage, p. 118.
- See Bernhard Fabian : The English literature. Volume 2: Authors. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 3rd edition, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-04495-0 , p. 35 f.
- Woodcock's comment on the "Songs" in: Bruce Woodcock (Ed.): The Selected Poems of William Blake . Would. Wordsworth Editions 2000, XXII, ISBN 1-85326-452-0 , pp. 56ff. See also Rolf Lessenich: Blake, William. In: Metzler Lexicon of English-Speaking Authors . 631 portraits - from the beginning to the present. Edited by Eberhard Kreutzer and Ansgar Nünning , Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2002, ISBN 3-476-01746-X , 666 p. (Special edition Stuttgart / Weimar 2006, ISBN 978-3-476-02125-0 ), p. 50 .
- See Hans Ulrich Seeber: The literature of romanticism . In: Hans Ulrich Seeber (Ed.): English literary history . 4th ext. Aufl. JB Metzler, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-476-02035-5 , pp. 230-262, here p. 240. Blake's quotation is taken from the print at this point.
- See Bernhard Fabian : The English literature. Volume 2: Authors. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 3rd edition, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-04495-0 , p. 365 f. See also Bruce Woodcock (ed.): The Selected Poems of William Blake . Would. Wordsworth Editions 2000, XXII, ISBN 1-85326-452-0 , p. 191. See also Rolf Lessenich: Blake, William. In: Metzler Lexicon of English-Speaking Authors . 631 portraits - from the beginning to the present. Edited by Eberhard Kreutzer and Ansgar Nünning , Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2002, ISBN 3-476-01746-X , 666 p. (Special edition Stuttgart / Weimar 2006, ISBN 978-3-476-02125-0 ), p. 50 .
- Bruce Woodcock (Ed.): The Selected Poems of William Blake . Would. Wordsworth Editions 2000, XXII, ISBN 1-85326-452-0 , p. 238.
- See Bernhard Fabian : The English literature. Volume 2: Authors. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 3rd edition, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-04495-0 , p. 36 f.
- See Bernhard Fabian : The English literature. Volume 2: Authors. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 3rd edition, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-04495-0 , p. 36 f.
- Bruce Woodcock (Ed.): The Selected Poems of William Blake . Would. Wordsworth Editions. 2000, XXII, ISBN 1-85326-452-0 , p. 319.
- Bruce Woodcock (Ed.): The Selected Poems of William Blake . Would. Wordsworth Editions 2000, XXII, ISBN 1-85326-452-0 , p. 332.
- Bruce Woodcock (Ed.): The Selected Poems of William Blake . Would. Wordsworth Editions 2000, XXII, ISBN 1-85326-452-0 , p. 331.
- Bruce Woodcock (Ed.): The Selected Poems of William Blake . Would. Wordsworth Editions 2000, XXII, ISBN 1-85326-452-0 , p. 333.
- See Bernhard Fabian (Hrsg.): The English literature. Volume 1: Epochs and Forms . Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag, 3rd edition Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-04494-2 , p. 43f. and Bernhard Fabian: The English literature. Volume 2: Authors . Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 3rd edition, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-04495-0 , p. 36 ff.
- See Bernhard Fabian (Hrsg.): The English literature. Volume 1: Epochs and Forms . Deutscher Taschenbuchverlag, 3rd edition Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-04494-2 , p. 43f. and Bernhard Fabian: The English literature. Volume 2: Authors . Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 3rd edition, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-423-04495-0 , p. 36 ff. See also Hans Ulrich Seeber: Die Literatur der Romantik . In: Hans Ulrich Seeber (Ed.): English literary history . 4th ext. Ed. JB Metzler, Stuttgart 2004, ISBN 3-476-02035-5 , pp. 230-262, here pp. 240 ff.
- The Fire of Innocence in the Darkness of World. on: enjott.com
- The Doors: When You're Strange , Documentation, USA, 2009.
- Bruce Woodcock (Ed.): The Selected Poems of William Blake . Would. Wordsworth Editions 2000, XXII, ISBN 1-85326-452-0 , p. 135.
- Memorable Quotes ImdB
- The Heart Of Me by Roger Ebert
- William Vaughan: William Blake , London, 1999, 2008, Tate Publishing, pp. 51ff.
- William Blake: The Mental Traveler (1801/03) full text
- Olive Films DVD / Blu-ray "Body and Soul"
- DW Dörrbecker: Convention and Innovation. Own and borrowed in the form of images from William Blake and in the British art of his time. Wasmuth, Berlin 1992, ISBN 3-929392-00-3 .
- A. Blunt: The Art of William Blake. Columbia Univ. Press, New York 1959, ISBN 0-231-02364-2 .
- M. Butlin: Catalog of the works of William Blake in the Tate Gallery. London 1957.
- EP Thompson : Witness Against the Beast: William Blake and the Moral Law. Cambridge Univ. Press, Cambridge 1993, ISBN 0-521-22515-9 .
- Peter Ackroyd: William Blake. Poet, painter, visionary. Knaus, Munich 2001, ISBN 3-8135-0102-7 .
- László F. Földényi: Newton's dream. Blake's Newton. Translated from the Hungarian by Akos Doma . Matthes & Seitz, Berlin 2005, ISBN 3-88221-860-6 .
- Alexander Gilchrist: Gilchrist on Blake: Life of William Blake, Pictor Ignotus. Ed. With an introduction by Richard Holmes: Harper Perennial, London a. a. 2005, ISBN 0-00-711171-1 (first edition: Life of William Blake. 1863).
- John E. Grant: William Blake's "The Fly." In: Willi Erzgräber (Ed.): Interpretations. Volume 8: English Literature from William Blake to Thomas Hardy. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt a. M. et al. 1970, pp. 9-37.
- Bruce Woodcock (Ed.): The Selected Poems of William Blake. Would. Wordsworth Editions 2000, XXII, ISBN 1-85326-452-0 .
- Sebastian Schütze & Maria Antonietta Terzoli (eds.): William Blake. The drawings for Dante's Divine Comedy. Taschen, Cologne 2014, ISBN 978-3-8365-5513-5 .
- Wikisource (English): William Blake - Sources and full texts in the original
- Literature by and about William Blake in the catalog of the German National Library
- Works by and about William Blake in the German Digital Library
- William Blake on kunstaspekte.de
- Works by William Blake at Zeno.org .
- Translations of his most important poems: 
- German-language internet portal about William Blake
- The William Blake Archive (English)
- Poems by William Blake at Project Gutenberg (original English texts)
- Pictures by W. Blake
- More pictures from W. Blakes from the
- Multimedia project on W. Blake's work in the Lengenbach mineral mine, Binntal in the Valais Alps
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||English painter and poet|
|DATE OF BIRTH||November 28, 1757|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||London|
|DATE OF DEATH||August 12, 1827|
|Place of death||London|