Blake in Europe is OUT!

I will never forget the day when Christmas came early – when Elinor Shaffer asked me over coffee, opposite Russell Square Tube Station in London, if I wanted to co-edit The Reception of William Blake in Europe with Morton D. Paley. My loud and enthusiastic “Yes!” was the beginning of a journey, a journey that introduced me many, wonderful Blake scholars; it also taught me many lessons about Blake, academic diplomacy and the knots and bolts of editing.

It took Morton and me seven years to complete the volumes of The Reception of William Blake in Europe, which is part of Shaffer’s longstanding series The Reception of British and Irish Authors in Europe. They include a survey about Blake’s reception in music and dissemination through exhibitions and covers more than twenty-three European countries. Morton came to visit BGU in September 2019 and some of you may remember this gentle giant of Blake studies. He gave a special lecture on Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s copy of Blake’s Illustrations of the Book of Job (1826) at the Lincolnshire Archives. When Morton and I launched the volumes during a Symposium at Tate Britain (a few days later), we were very impressed with the new materials that our contributors were sharing with us. The idea to do a special issue on Blake’s European reception for Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly was born.

Three years on, I am delighted to announce that the special issue on Blake’s reception in Europe is out!

This special issue includes contributions by Cătălin Ghiță (Romanian Blake), Eliza Borkowska (Polish Blake), Luisa Calè (Italian Blake), Vera Serdechnaia (Russian Blake), Tanja Bakić (Serbian and Croatian Blake), Cristina Flores (Spanish Blake), Alcinda Pinheiro de Sousa, Cláudia Franco Souza, and João Carlos Callixto (Portuguese Blake), and Sibylle Erle (German Blake).

Blake in Europe shares discoveries, stories of influence, and compelling new readings of Blake’s significance to other cultures, including the first account of the Romanian radio play Biblia neagră a lui William Blake (William Blake’s Black Bible, 2016), Czesław Miłosz and his Ziemia Ulro (1977), translated as The Land of Ulro (1984), Corrado Costa’s visionary cartoon essay William Blake in Beulah (1977), the first known translation of “The Mental Traveller” by Nikolai Gumilyov (1918–21), Blake and the creative processes of Zdenka Pozaić, Simonida Rajčević, and Aleksandra M. Jovanić, Leopoldo María Panero’s dark, Blake-inspired poems and stories about Blake in Joseph Paul Hodin’s writings on Else and Ludwig Meidner.

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1st February 2022

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