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Reflections

My name is Esther and I’m an undergraduate student working for the William Blake Archive. I joined in January of this year. At first, I was working on the transcription for bb35.1.1 and bb35.1.2 of The Everlasting Gospel. After it was decided that the transcription didn’t have a place on the website right now, I transferred over to helping maintain the site’s collection lists.

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BAND, Holiday

A Blakean Jack-O’-Lantern

For a little seasonal fun, myself and a couple of friends took some time to carve pumpkins! Admittedly, it had been quite a while since I took up such a task. And “pumpkin” isn’t exactly my medium of choice. I was a studio art major in undergrad and as a painter by trade, I avoided sculpture classes like the plague. Despite all this, I am not one to back down from a crafting challenge, which ensured that I took on a far too ambitious project. Particularly considering that said pumpkin will (and is) deteriorating as I write.

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BAND, Digital Humanities

Ginsberg’s Memories of Blake’s Sunflower

Recently, while looking for inspiration for a poetry assignment, I revisited one of my favorite poems, Allen Ginsberg’s “Sunflower Sutra.” I always loved this poem for its energy and relentless optimism. After arriving at a dock and sitting “under the huge shade of a Southern/Pacific locomotive to look at the sunset over the/box house hills and cry,” Ginsberg sees a dead sunflower and goes into a fit of emotions, ending with the cheery declaration, “we’re all beautiful golden sunflowers inside.” But this journey is not easy. Before Ginsberg’s uplifting conclusion, we’re first taken through a sort of microcosm of the industrial wasteland that is America:

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BAND, Digital Humanities

The Emendations in Poetical Sketches

Blake’s earliest work, Poetical Sketches, is printed in a typographically traditional way, which made reproducing a digital edition of Sketches a little anomalous. Noting and describing Blake’s handwritten emendations and other printing errors initiated questions that went beyond typical Archive standards.

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BAND, XML

Languages and Ligatures

One of the first blog posts I ever wrote for Hell’s Printing Press was titled “Laocoön and Languages.” The inspiration behind the post was that, in working on textual transcriptions, I had come across instances where Blake writes in a language other than English and I had been pointed to Laocoön as an example of a published Blake Archive work that deals with the problem of how to transcribe text in languages other than English.

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BAND

All Fun and Games

At the beginning of summer, my mom, who’s a sixth-grade English teacher, asked me to take her classes for a day. Working with young kids is a little out of the ordinary for a grad student, but it seemed like a good way to get my feet wet with teaching composition on the horizon. Plus, getting a glimpse of the potential obstacles, needs, and interests of an eleven-year-old learner was bound to offer me a valuable perspective that I may not otherwise get.

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