William Blake and the Myth of Secularism
Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street.
I read, when in my twenties, most of William Blake’s writings from cover to cover and spent many a quiet moment meditating my way through his evocative paintings. Needless to say, Blake is not the easiest poet and painter to interpret, so I took the time to read and correspond with some of the leading Blake scholars. Allen Ginsberg sent me a copy of his booklet, Your Reason and Blake’s System (1988). Northrop Frye, author of Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake (1947), and I corresponded. I enjoyed many a letter from Kathleen Raine who wrote Blake and Antiquity (1963). My interest in Thomas Merton was largely initiated by the MA he wrote on Blake in 1939 called Nature and Art in William Blake: An Essay in Interpretation (1939). I was also, when doing my PHD at McMaster in the 1980s, delighted to attend the many lectures by E. P. Thompson whose book, Witness Against the Beast: William Blake and the Moral Law (1993) is a must read keeper.