Showing posts from July, 2021

William Blake vs The World by John Higgs

This is not the first thing that John Higgs has written about William Blake. He released a much slimmer volume in 2019 - William Blake Now: Why He Matters More Than Ever . That was a nice taster of where Higgs was going with his Blake work, but this new book is the long-awaited volume. Readers of John Higgs’s books will recognize a few familiar themes: a place for diversity and oddness; his ‘ pragmatic optimism ’, based in agnostic thinking and a long view of human ups and downs; an unusually sympathetic treatment of magick, mysticism and vision; his love of England, its landscape, its history and its peoples. These themes all come together in this book. Higgs brings out some profound and fascinating features in Blake’s thinking, and unpacks nicely his personal mythos. One of the most helpful things about this book is how it helps us to appreciate that none-too-easy symbol system. He is not the only writer to make up their own language - amongst philosophers, Whitehead and Heidegger we