THE MARRIAGE OF
HEAVEN AND HELL
by William Blake
Blake stirred me into consciousness. He was the first to teach me the dangers of institutional fetishism – not Freud; and the first to show me the delights of dialectical thinking – not Hegel, or Marx.
The Marriage of Heaven and Hell is a series of texts written in imitation of biblical prophecy, expressing in a unique fusion of verse and prose William Blake’s intensely personal Romantic and revolutionary beliefs.
Like his other books, it was composed between 1790 and 1793, in the period of radical ferment and political conflict immediately following the French Revolution, and published as printed sheets from etched plates containing prose, poetry, and illustrations.
Using the editor’s perennial marker pen, historian and art critic Hal Foster intervenes, interjects, and interrupts Blake’s ruminations with his own creative genius. What better way to enliven the already illuminated pages of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell than by the addition of never-before-seen marginalia by this influential thinker.
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HAL FOSTER is Townsend Martin 1917 Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University and an editor of the journal October. He is the author of numerous books, including, most recently, The Art-Architecture Complex (Verso, 2011), The First Pop Age: Painting and Subjectivity in the Art of Hamilton, Lichtenstein, Warhol, Richter, and Ruscha (Princeton University Press, 2012), and Bad New Days: Art, Criticism, Emergency (Verso, 2015). In 2018 he will deliver the Mellon Lectures on the theme of brutal aesthetics in the postwar period.