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Title: Producing Blake
Author: Duerden, P.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis offers a demonstration and examination of the ways in which conceptions of literature are shaped by historically specific conditions and a study of the social, cultural, institutional and ideological needs that these conceptions attempt to meet. It proceeds on the basis that the reading process is both productive and determined by environmental conditions, a position reached by way of - to name only the main routes - Derrida's interrogation of the notion of the parergon or frame, and Tony Bennett's concept of the 'reading formation'. The central premise of the thesis is that 'Blake' - a metonym that connotes not only those texts and images produced by Blake, but all discourse that relates or refers to this constantly expanding and mutating formation - is not given but produced, and reproduced, endlessly, and within determinate sociocultural conjunctures. The subject of the thesis is twentieth-century formations of Blake, from the predominantly academic - Northrop Frye, historicist criticism (David Erdman, E.P. Thompson, Jereome McGann, Steve Clark and David Worrall), the curious treatment of Blake's The French Revolution and what this reveals about the dominant conceptions of Blake - to the non- or quasi-academic - the countercultural Blake (Aldous Huxley, Allen Ginsberg, Norman O. Brown, R.D. Laing, Michael Horovitz, Theodore Roszak) and biographical constructions of Blake (Mona Wilson/Peter Ackroyd). In each case I analyse the ideological and institutional requirements that control the ways Blake is conceived and the uses to which these readings are put. The picture of Blake that emerges is not unified or coherent, much less mimetic, but revealing bears the marks of the ongoing struggle to define the meaning and identity of literature and the conflicting forces involved.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available