Blake’s Romantic Discourse and the "Introduction" to "Songs of Innocence" as a Megametaphor

Kirvalidze, Nino and Davitishvili, Natia (2012) Blake’s Romantic Discourse and the "Introduction" to "Songs of Innocence" as a Megametaphor. Us-China Foreign Language, 10 (9). pp. 1577-1586. ISSN 1539-8080(Print), 1935-9667(Online)

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The present paper offers an interdisciplinary (literary and text-linguistic based) study of the “Introduction” to Songs of Innocence (1794) which is regarded as crucial to an understanding of Blake’s larger poetic vision. Ever since the book was first issued in 1794 by the author himself, literary critics have debated the question whether in this poem Blake intended to present his own commentary on the process of poetic creation, or simply to express in verse different visions of the state of innocence as either untainted by experience, or already penetrated by it. Our analysis is focused on the multilayered reading of the “Introduction” which helps to reassess its thematic and motif structure. We consider the poem under study as one “large” metaphor, i.e., a megametaphor, expressing in a rather compressed way the metatheme of Blake’s cycles Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794) in its complexity. We try to show how the central themes of the cycles—the theme of “innocence” connected with the stage of childhood, and the theme of “experience” associated with adulthood—are interconnected in the “Introduction” via fundamental values and symbols of Christianity, as well as exact and expressive imagery reflecting the experience Blake has undergone in composing the songs which follow. It is just this kind of mediate relationship of these two central themes that creates the wholeness of Songs of Innocence and of Experience and enables us to speak about the existence of their multilayered metatheme in the “Introduction”.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The article is protected by the copyright of David Publishing Company, USA. The journal is abstracted/indexed in: Database of EBSCO, Massachusetts, USA; Chinese Database of CEPS, Airiti Inc. & OCLC; Chinese Scientific Journals Database, VIP Corporation, Chongqing, P.R.C.; Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory; LLBA Database of ProQuest; Summon Serials Solutions.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
Depositing User: Prof. Nino Kirvalidze
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2014 14:36
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2015 09:00

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