[Publications and exhibitions]

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NEWS

SIR GEOFFREY KEYNES informs us that a revised and augmented edition of Blake’s Letters will be published later this year by Rupert Hart-Davis. It will include “all that have turned up to be added in recent years, with corrections and some revision of notes. There isn’t a great deal but it will bring us up to date.” For the same publisher, Sir Geoffrey is preparing an enlarged edition of his Blake Studies for next year. Also, “The Kraus Reprint Corporation are making a reprint of my Bibliography of Blake (1921) and of the Census of the Illuminated Books. These will not be revised, but will be reproduced as they stand. The Oxford University Press is reprinting the Oxford Standard Authors Blake with some corrections and additions.”

From Mr. KERRISON PRESTON: “All ten letters from Blake at Felpham to Butts at Westminster are now in the Preston Blake Library in London. Also Poetical Sketches marked by Blake (the Graham Robertson copy).[e]

From Professor G. E. BENTLEY, Jr: “I am now about mid-way through revised page proofs of a volume to be called Blake Records, which is designed to embrace all the contemporary references to the poet and his family which I can locate. The systematic chronological limits are 1737 to 1831, with selected comments from surviving friends of Blake such as Linnell, Palmer, and Tatham. It comprehends the early biographies (J. T. Smith, Cunningham, Malkin, Tatham, H. C. Robinson), reviews, excerpts from letters, records in rate books, wills, voting records, and church records. It includes a good deal from Gilchrist, of course. A few score new references have turned up, but the vast majority of them have long been known. It contains evidence purporting to trace Blake’s family to Rotherhithe, to associate his father with the Baptist church, to show Blake having a patron arrested for not paying for pictures, and so on. The book is designed as a reference tool, where biographical facts about Blake are collected.”

“British Water Colors, 1750-1850,” an exhibition of 100 paintings from the Victoria and Albert Museum, was shown at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in July. It will subsequently appear at the City Art Museum of St. Louis (Aug. 15 - Sept. 15) and at the Cleveland Museum of Art (Oct. 3 - Nov. 5). Included are two paintings by Blake: “The Compassion of the Pharoah’s Daughter” (otherwise known as “The Finding of Moses”) and “Moses and the Burning Bush.” There are also several pictures by friends of Blake’s: “Piling Straw” by Linnell, “Papigno on the Nar” by Palmer, “Sketch of a Lady” by Fuseli, “A Village Church Among Trees” by Palmer, and “View in the Pass of Llanberis” and “Fragnal, Hampstead” by John Varley. I found the Varley “View” (dated 1803) especially interesting, with the blue sky divided into planes of light oddly suggestive of the paintings of Lionel Feininger. The Palmer is in his richest style; also worth mentioning is a crucifixion by John Martin, with the vastness of perspective that gives such a strange quality to his work.

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In June we noted a forthcoming new edition of Tracks in the Snow by RUTHVEN TODD. Mr. Todd writes: “Dover is to do it, with the addition of my essay on the printing techniques, which I worked on with Bill Hayter and Joan Miro in New York in 1947, and which appeared in Print in the following year. The new issue is to be called Some Aspects of Blake and Others and, in addition to the extra essay (which is now hard to come by), will have an introduction by Kathleen Raine, and a new index by Anne Collins McGuire.” Mr. Todd also mentions that he has given the first copy of his Blake catalogue to the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection of the Library of Congress.

The BBC has made a television program on the subject of “The Tyger.” Its producer, Mr. CHRISTOPHER BURSTALL, writes: “The film I have made is called ‘Tyger, Tyger’ and I hope that the subtitle ‘An enquiry into the power of a familiar poem’ will give you some idea of what it is all about. It will run for fifty minutes and includes some views by Kathleen Raine, Robert Graves, Richard Hoggart, Stuart Hall, George Goyder, The Rev. Gordon Davies, as well as the opinions of a lot of private and inexpert people, old and young, who find the poem memorable. I made the film - it’s a sort of ‘Workshop’ really I suppose, to try and show some of the qualities which make the Tyger so potent, so generally. It is not in any way an expert elucidation. We shall be transmitting it some time this winter, and I certainly hope that it will prove of interest to NET.”

Professor S. FOSTER DAMON notes that in Kenneth Patchen’s latest book, Hallelujah Anyway (New Directions Paperbook #219, price $1.25), there’s a prose poem with reference to Blake’s Lamb and Tyger. “Patchen was an early lover of Blake—one of his first books was Journal of Albion Moonlight—and his ‘picture-poems’ were inspired by, but not an imitation of, Blake’s combination of pictures and poems. I think that Hallelujah Anyway is one of his best books.” [Kenneth Patchen has again been hospitalized with a recurring spine ailment, and collections have been taken up in the Bay Area to help him meet medical expenses. Should readers of the Newsletter want to contribute, his address is 2340 Sierra Court, Palo Alto, California 94303.]

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