Romantic Circles has just published another volume in its Praxis series, Editing and Reading Blake. Co-edited by Wayne C. Ripley and Justin Van Kleeck, this collection of essays looks at the profound challenges William Blake poses to both editors and readers.
Ripley’s introduction provides an overview of how editors have represented Blake over the past century and a half, including how the editors of the Blake Archive transform the possibilities of accessing Blake’s work.
Subsequent essays include those by editors of Blake, such as David Fuller, W. H. Stevenson, and Mary Lynn Johnson, that explore particular contexts and issues that emerge when engaging with Blake’s idiosyncratic texts. In addition, a series of essays by authors such as Rachel Lee and Justin Van Kleeck explore the special considerations that come into play when dealing with the requirements of new technologies.
As all editorial work requires mediation (and thus misrepresentation), so the notion that we can in any way read Blake’s works as he intended them is increasingly being recognised as “an editorial fantasy”. The collection also looks to future ways in which Blake’s works will address audiences.
Editing and Reading Blake can be read at http://www.rc.umd.edu/praxis/editing_blake/.