William Blake's Book of Job

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     These pages are devoted to the study of the art of William Blake by means of a combination of text, poems, and images brought together with the use of the internet. It uses a complete proof edition of William Blake's The Book of Job (1825), Blake's poetry and prose, and assorted internet links to paintings by Blake, Caravaggio and others. The site as a whole does not attempt to explain or interpret Blake's images so much as to experience them as part of a poetic and creative enterprise. Blake will make the declarative statements; the web site will ask questions; and the reader may interact and respond as she or he sees fit. 
     The method for reading Blake's Job used here is fashioned from Joseph Wicksteed, Blake's Vision of the Book of Job, A Study(New York, 1910) and S. Foster Damon, Blake's Job:  William Blake's Illustrations of the Book of Job with an introduction and commentary (Providence, Rhode Island, 1966).  But full responsibility for the actual site is the designer's. 
     Blake's blunt and justly famous statement  "I must Create a System, or be enslav'd by another Man's/ I will not Reason & Compare: my business is to Create"* in the poem Jerusalem is proof enough that Blake did not merely "illustrate" the Book of Job. 
     The table below allows the reader to move quickly around among the twenty-one plates.  The plates tell a story in sequence, but they also have structural relationships with other plates.  There is a certain architecture to the work.  Possible connections between plates are provided as links back and forth between plates (e.g. plates i and xxi are nearly the same?).  Since Blake read and used the King James Bible, a link is provided to the KJV on line.*William Blake Archive, University of Virginia: the archive includes other illustrated texts (not Blake's Job as yet) and  David Erdman, ed., The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake in a searchable electronic form.


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