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Romanticism, Enthusiasm, and RegulationPoetics and the Policing of Culture in the Romantic Period$
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Jon Mee

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199284788

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199284788.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 November 2021

Energy and Enthusiasm in Blake

Energy and Enthusiasm in Blake

(p.257) CHAPTER SIX Energy and Enthusiasm in Blake
Romanticism, Enthusiasm, and Regulation


Oxford University Press

The chapter begins with Blake's distinctive commitment to ‘Meer enthusiasm’ as the ‘All in All’. It examines his attempts to break free from the rhetoric of regulation at work in most other romantic recuperations of enthusiasm. Blake deliberately seeks the identification between flesh and spirit that to most commentators smacked of the sinking of religious devotion into sensual enthusiasm. Furthermore, the chapter develops the possibility that Blake becomes self-conscious of and flaunts this equation after Robert Hunt's attacks on him in The Examiner (attacks which coincided with Leigh Hunt's on Methodism). Thereafter, it argues that, especially in Jerusalem, there seems to be a celebration of ‘right-angled turns’, tending towards ‘self-annihilation’ – a term, it is shown, with a particular trajectory in the discourse on enthusiasm – as a kind of radical release from the demands of regulation.

Keywords:   Blake, enthusiasm, Robert Hunt, Leigh Hunt, Jerusalem, self-annihilation

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