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Report on Readings:

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l: Is Blake saylngtwo different things when he says,"If the doors of perceptionwere cleansedevery thing would appearto man as it is, Infinite" (plate l4), and when he says, "Thus men forgot that All deities reside in the human breast" (plate 11)? Is Blake primarily interestedin knowing what things areas they really are , which he seemsto define as containing the infinite (plate 12) or is he interestedin what things could be made to be like, by the deitiesof our own imagination? Blake tells us of "Giants who formed this world into its sensualexistenceand [who] now seemto live in chains." The "chains" aremadeby the "cunning of weak and tame minds" (plate 16). Yet Blake has removed mountains" (plate Isaialrtell us that "in agesof imaginationthis firm perswasion this the natureof the chainsmade by the 12; emphasismine). Why mountains?--is

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cunningof weak andtameminds? A mountainwould seemto be a thing which one impact. If tle'tnfinite" might find impossibleto 'take in" andyet denyits full sensuous is expansive, energy,is a mountainan apt symbolof the undeniablguncontainable, so were cleansed we could infinite? If it is, then is Blake implying that evenif our senses so not be blinded to nature'sfull sensuous character, we would be like "the ancientPoets calling themby the namesand Who animatedall sensible objectswith Godsor Geniuses, cities, nations,and adomingthem with the propertiesofwoods, rivers, mountains,lakes, senses could perciefi whatevertheir enlargedandnumerous (plate I l; emphasis mine), of that we could move or rqrlace eventhis "larger" undemtanh"ng things in the world, and greater?Is Blaketelling us whatwe would perceivewith enlarged with something to. numeroussenses? seems Doesthis leavethe act of animatinginto a kind of He percievedthe true passive,automaticactivity, that follows oncewe haveaccurately

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of to natureof things? It seems to-yet this seems offer us a limited conception whereit serves'trerely''to recognize "Platonic" formftre "one thougtrt l\ i-"ei*,iot [that] fills immensity''(plate l0) is God's thoughtor our own. If it is God's, then our to purposeshouldbe to assignappropriate names objects,like a'lnountain", that take

properties. If is our own thought,might we into consideration their God-givensensual t\{) _ .' .rl \h' ^ ' we i-ugr" it asmoving mountains?Doesit matterhow many senses have,andhow ( ^V ' J imagination? cleanthey are,if we havean energetic no 'r, d '{'t \'
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'lYanityoflluman Wishes" taken light in was #2: I amcurious knowhowJohnson's to Fabteof theBrr(:fl{;dlKk{aiculating of Mandeville's thatthebusyhive--a
metaphor which seemsto be apt for Johnson'ssurvey of mankind. Johnson,like Mandeville, observes"How rarely reasonguides the stubborn choice" (line I I ), but Mandeville believes that, contra Johnson that taken 'lvith [an] extensiveview," (line 1) ,

there is a kind of order formed out of the chaos: it builds a wealthy, successfulstate. Hume argued something similar, where luxury seizedto be something (someoneactually-a insatiable woman) which ruined statesand insteadprovided the funding to sustain an armed force more protective of a nation, than a Spartannation of men-at-arms.

#3: I agreewith your own experiencethat I will need to re-readmany of theselonger poems before I can fairly say that I have read them: theseare very "thick" imaginative worlds. Yet, after my first reading of "Vanity'' my first, and continuing feeling, is to end the journey--Napofelnf Johnsonis akin to Blake's Swedenborgangel in that he seemto want to end our own journey; he clearly doesnot believe that "the road of excels leads to the palaceof wisdom" (pluf 7). Or doeshe? He could only tell us of the consequences of desiresafter some acquaitancewith them. Is is that he "observes" and not

*o"tdrdtnJf;gf\is ferh$s whatJohnson desire? "experience"

proverb of Blake's

pestil htlJiy .!.3, ,ho.rldI explore not Hell: Heiho desires acts breeds but "n"t. with I I it on expansive creation. guess depends whether agree Blakethat Johnson's of to he time,aswhen submitted learn thecrow"(plate never somuch lost "Theeagle
10). And if even if it agreewith this, I must decide if Johnsonmore a crow than an eagle--or somewherein between.