'Living form'
William Blake's Gothic relations
in William Blake's Gothic imagination
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Reading Blake’s art as less the product of a Gothic than of a ‘gothicising’ imagination, David Baulch argues that Blake’s conception of the Gothic as ‘Living Form’ interrupts logics of precedence, consequence, and causation more broadly, turning the sometimes conservative, regulative work of the Gothic inside out. In Baulch’s words, ‘[r]ecognising the political import in Living Form makes visible Blake’s dynamic conception of the Gothic, his most radical conception of being and its attendant potential for unprecedented difference’. Making this case means reconsidering Benjamin Heath Malkin’s influential though misleading representation of Blake as a Gothic artist, a representation that understands the Gothic as merely rustic, simple, anti-classical, and reactionary.


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