Summer is our checklist issue, and our contributors this year are Luisa Calè for exhibitions, Wayne (Chuck) Ripley for criticism (with the assistance of Hikari Sato and Fernando Castanedo), and Jason Whittaker for music. As Chuck writes in his introduction, which contains an overview of the Blake checklist tradition,
Thus, Blake bibliography enters a new era. Envisioning this moment in his final [winter 1992–93] checklist, [Detlef] Dörrbecker gave warning to those who would follow Bentley:
If it was anyone other than Gerald Bentley who was now destined to take over as bibliographer, I should have advised the appointment of an entire team of compilers. …
Perhaps heeding this advice, the editors of Blake have now divided the subjects of the checklist into three more manageable categories: editions, scholarship, and biography (this section); music; and art and exhibitions.
We thank Chuck, Jason, and Luisa for taking on these roles, and invite you to check out everything from a song called “What If William Blake Had Gone to New Orleans?” to an exhibition on Jacob Böhme in Dresden to the book Le tigre de William Blake. Principes et ingrédients du roman policier noir. If you’ve published, performed, or produced a work or event that doesn’t appear, please e-mail us to request that we include it in next year’s issue.
Our lead article is the second part of Dmitri Smirnov‘s “My Blake,” his account of the way that Blake has inspired his life and music. This installment covers his arrival in England in 1991 to the present day (part 1, “In Russia,” was in our spring issue).
In “A Blake Riddle,” Fernando Castanedo focuses on the pencil inscription “a leaf is evidently missing before this one” in An Island in the Moon: is the writing by Blake and, if so, why? His research on the inscription was in connection with his edition Una isla en la luna, published by Cátedra in 2014.
Contributions on Blake and music bookend the issue: Dmitri’s meditation on his compositions and Jason’s list of releases. I chose as the cover another example of Blake set to music, a re-engraving by P. Jones, for Whitaker’s The Seraph, of Blake’s engraving for Night Thoughts, p. 27. The image is from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. As a Jones myself, I like that the imprint reads “Printed for Jones & Co.”
The summer issue will be freely available until the end of this work week, when it will revert to subscriber access. Please take a look too at our latest issue to exit the paywall, summer 2013 (vol. 47, no. 1). It includes the Bentley checklist, with information about a Cumberland sketchbook acquired by the University of Toronto, plus a note on Blake and Hesiod by Kurt Fosso. There are also reviews of the 2011–12 Moscow Blake exhibition and catalogue (Vera Serdechnaya), Michael Phillips’s edition of Marriage (J. B. Mertz), and Christopher Rowland, Blake and the Bible (Linda Freedman).