with intellectual spears & long winged arrows of thought
In her paper “Vala’s Garden in Night the Ninth: Paradise Regained or Woman Bound?” (Blake 20 (1987): 116-24) Catherine Haigney cites a wide range of critics who have read the pastoral episode as a joyful celebration of innocence, and have thus tended to overlook “pitfalls” in the text, to “ameliorate the Tharmas / Enion seduction scene,” and to ignore the circularity of Blake’s myth. One might easily conclude from her paper that the “traditional view” of this episode has never before been challenged. For the record, at least one critic1↤ 1 Andrew Lincoln, “Blake’s Lower Paradise: The Pastoral Passage in The Four Zoas, Night the Ninth,” Bulletin of Research in the Humanities 84 (1981): 470-79. has already suggested that the serenity of this episode is deceptive, that the relationships between Luvah and Vala, and between Tharmas and Enion are not necessarily harmonious, and that there is an element of circularity in the myth here (because the passage can be read as the prelude to Man’s fall as well as to his resurrection). I feel I should point this out, if only because Catherine Haigney does not.