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William Blake and the Impossible History of the 1790s$
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Saree Makdisi

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226502595

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226502618.001.0001

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Weary of Time

Weary of Time

Image and Commodity in Blake

(p.155) Chapter Four Weary of Time
William Blake and the Impossible History of the 1790s
University of Chicago Press

This chapter analyzes the temporal structure of William Blake's illuminated books, focusing on one of the central plates of America: A Prophecy. It suggests that Blake's texts open up into a kind of eternal time of repetition and identifies the repetition of the same verbal and visual images and texts in different works, his writings and illustrations. This chapter also considers how Blake's logic of generating variability through repetition might problematize certain modern concepts of production and exchange as well as the notions of identity and community associated with them.

Keywords:   illuminated books, America: A Prophecy, repetition, identity, community, variability

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