Category

BATS

BATS

“The invisible worm” of Jerusalem MPI

In case you missed it, the William Blake Archive published Copies A and I of Jerusalem back in December. Alongside these two full copies of the poem, the Archive also published a collection of miscellaneous plates and impressions–or MPI–of Jerusalem. Among the miscellaneous plates are proof impressions, which are particularly helpful in revealing Blake’s creative and revisionary processes that led to the final published version of a Jerusalem text and/or image.

Continue reading
BATS

Over-reading Overwriting? A Textual Anomaly in Songs of Innocence, Copy Q

Last year, I traded my work with archived issues of Blake: An Illustrated Quarterly for new tasks in text and image markup of Blake’s illuminated books. Last month, I began writing markup “without a net,” as we say. With Katherine Calvin’s guidance, I am learning to describe individual watercolor drawings without recourse to a previous editor’s text. So, rather than thinking comparatively, I consider only the image at hand, and I have to familiarize myself more thoroughly with the body of search terms The Blake Archive uses to describe and tag images.

Continue reading
BATS

Do you see what I see?

Under the skilled eye of Katherine Calvin, I have completed training on illustration markup. With her help, I have gained practice in the art of seeing and of describing what I see, without inserting my interpretations. My introduction to the process of using templates to reflect on the new (to me) plate and spot the differences–a skill set that I first developed reading Highlights magazines–went smoothly. As I learned the ropes, there was only one instance where I thought the template itself was wrong.

Continue reading
BATS

Teaching First-Year Composition with the William Blake Archive

I am happy to report that I have finished my last spellcheck list, and will be switching tasks to assist with image mark-up. Not an unwelcome “vicissitude,”

in the sense of the “Grateful vicissitude” of the perfectly-balanced changes from light to darkness that Milton describes in Paradise Lost. But I will miss the curiosities that I came across while checking Blake: An Illustrated Quarterly for spelling errors.

Continue reading
BATS

The Oxford Comma and the Rogue Apostrophe: Editorial Principles and Punctuation in the Blake Archive

The Oxford comma is having its moment in the spotlight in recent news, after it was used to clinch a legal case in favor of the five drivers in O’Connor v. Oakhurst Dairy who, according to the interpretation of policy in the absence of the comma, were therefore found to be eligible for overtime pay. And grammar geeks on the side of the Oxford comma have been rejoicing.

Continue reading
BATS

Blake’s Aniconic Arboreals

“What if God was one of us?” asks singer-songwriter Joan Osborne. It’s actually not that hard to imagine God as a person. Many are familiar with the image of God as the deity appears in Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam: an old, imperious man with flowing hair and beard. For many raised in Judeo-Christian traditions, the portrayal of Alanis Morissette as God in the movie Dogma is as far from that image as the imagination strays. Beyond this narrow anthropomorphism, however, lie countless aniconic representations of divinity.

Continue reading
BATS, Digital Humanities

Little Boys Lost

A few years ago I was having drinks with someone I had recently met through an interdisciplinary research/reading group at the University of North Carolina. He was a geneticist. In the course of our conversation he confided that he no longer read books, especially those books having to do with literature. Since everything reduced to genetic coding, which revealed itself in its own inscrutable (to me, even though he tried to explain it) language, all macrocosmic products of human artistry were epiphenomenal, superfluous. We were just humming flesh lumps elaborately but programmatically spun out from inherited scripts. He stared hard into his ice cubes as he said this. I’d quote him, but I can’t remember his exact words.

Continue reading
BATS, XML

Sisyphus and Consistency

My recent projects as Editorial Assistant at the William Blake Archive have shared a mission: to ensure the consistency of the Archive’s text. My last project was to go through the Blake Archive Documents (BADs) and capitalize the C’s, P’s, and O’s in the words “Copy,” “Plate,” and “Object” (and their plurals) whenever they refer to specific copies, plates, or objects. My current project is to enter Bob Essick’s revisions to the lists of related works for each object, so that when the redesigned Archive is unveiled, it will have the most comprehensive, accurate, and consistent information possible.

Continue reading