The Devil as Muse
Blake, Byron, and the Adversary
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Baylor University Press
Table of Contents
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The discussion of Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita in chapter 5 owes much to the stimulus given by participants at the 2009 Trialogue Conference: Literature, Psychotherapy, Spirituality; I am grateful to all those present on that occasion. I would also like to thank Tony Howe, for getting me to read Byron with fresh eyes, and Stephen Prickett,...
Notes on References
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1 Prologue. Kierkegaard, Don Giovanni, and Doctor Faustus: The Artist as Faust
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To be “more of an artist” is, it seems, to turn away from ethical purpose. If Shelley curbed his “magnanimity,” that greatness of soul which for Aristotle gathers together all the virtues, he could better develop the quality that the artist needs: “self concentration,” which is “selfishness perhaps.” For an artist must serve Mammon. Keats is suggesting...
2 The Devil and the Poet
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Blake’s comment on Paradise Lost has the sharpness and smartness of epigram. Its quick assertiveness may mislead us into supposing too easily that we have grasped the whole subtlety of Blake’s idea. Clearly, he is making a specific claim about Milton, framed in a way that suits his own purposes, which needs to be understood in the light of his own writing and his own complex and creative response to Milton’s...
3 Blake and the Devil’s Party
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The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is the most exuberant, swaggering, and exhilarating of all Blake’s works. It was written in or very shortly after 1790, in that apparent dawn of liberty of which Wordsworth wrote that it was bliss to be alive, when the revolution in France still promised to bring in a New Jerusalem on earth. The liberty which Blake proclaims and celebrates is not political only, although it certainly includes the political. It is liberation...
4 Byron’s Familiar Spirit
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When in 1821 the British Poet Laureate Robert Southey attacked the “Satanic school” in contemporary poetry, it was clear to his readers who, above all others, occupied that bad eminence. The immediate provocation was the opening cantos of Don Juan, a poem that gave huge offense for its perceived immorality and nihilism: but for years Byron had built his immense success around a series...
5 Telling the Devil’s Story, Doctor Faustus and The Master and Margarita
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In my opening chapter I drew certain ideas from Thomas Mann’s Doctor Faustus with which to frame the discussion that followed: ideas in particular about an opposition between aesthetic immediacy, such as may be associated in particular with music, and a reflective consciousness that inevitably carries with it a sense of alienation. This dichotomy, in Mann’s novel, is advanced
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Page Count: 215
Publication Year: 2011
Series Title: The Making of the Christian Imagination