Reply to Charu Sheel Singh
Beneath the surface of Charu Sheel Singh’s rejoinder to my review of Chariot of Fire, I sense feelings of both outrage and pain. For the pain of the person, I can only feel sorrow, and I do. But I feel a graver concern for the scholar, for his inability or unwillingness to look candidly at the quality of the work he has offered his colleagues. My criticisms of Chariot are just, indeed charitable—given such glaring flaws as arguments for direct influence on Blake by obscure writers unborn or in the cradle during his lifetime, combined with misleading data on the dates of their books. In any case, his book is “out,” my review written, and his riposte duly recorded. It is now to be hoped that the scholar in Charu Sheel Singh will, at this remove in time, find the leisure and the calmness of temperament to assess rationally his beloved intellectual progeny, which he will find to contain much in need of mending.