Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thought for the Day

Dave Sim: Having just finished a biography of William Blake, I understand he suffered terribly from this. In many ways, he was the original self-publisher.

I mean, I really want to do a good multilayered story with Cerebus, and I have a compulsion to say a lot of -probably too many- things in the six thousand pages.

But, man, at least I don 't have a sense of being put here on Earth to put everything right. To me, Blake clearly thought he was Moses or Jacob or the heir to their legacy, anyway.

Chosen by God to tell the world what really happened, get everyone to agree that every Renaissance painter he didn't like was a fraud and everyone he did like was a prophet or a beacon on the hill. everyone he liked was an angel from his personal God until he didn't like those people anymore, at which time they were one of the Legions of Hell sent to torment him.

People like that I find very worrisome....

Alan Moore: ...If (Blake) occasionally seems to have an inflated opinion of himself, it would seem to me only a natural counter-reaction to his seeming wretchedness and failure in all save the eyes of a few close friends (and, of course, posterity).

You're right in naming him the first self-publisher, near as damn it, and I think that you might find more in common with him than there seems to be at first glance: a man who had a vision and decided that the best way to convey it was by devoting his life's work to an extended fantasy narrative, a symbolic world where invented characters would play out the drama of the creator's divine insight

....This is not to discount your own view of Blake of course, simply to suggest that my own is maybe a bit more forgiving and more prepared to overlook the occasional bout of hubris.

Lord knows, Dave, we're not above the occasional bout of hubris ourselves, are we? And we haven't even written London or painted Glad Day yet.

(William Blake: Nov 28 1757 - Aug 12 1827)


AndrewSshi said...

I am absolutely delighted to see the two most clearly insane comic writers of today discussing the most clearly insane poet of the pre-Romantic period. What was the venue?

Andrew Reeves

Andrew Rilstone said...

It was in the back of a Cerebus, shortly after "From Hell" finished. Note that it was before Sim went mad (he doesn't think he is an emissary from God at this point.

nickpheas said...

I think they're wrong though. There is a fine English tradition of self published pampleteering, complete with Jack Chick style illustrations from the time ofthe Civil War.

Gavin Burrows said...

Nickpheas is correct! At first pamphlets had to pay a hefty duty, just to prevent that sort of thing happening. But of course in the chaos of the Civil War there's no-one can easily collect any such duties, so the pamphlets just poured out!

It's also true to say that Blake and many of his radical contemporaries was quite rooted in the nonconformism of that era.

Mike Taylor said...

In other news, I found myself singing "To him, life is a great big bang-up", and for the first time in my life stopped to think that I have no idea what a "bang-up" is, nor why life should be a great big one of them. Anyone?

nickpheas said...

I don't know the song, but 'Lord Snooty and his Pals' would generally end every adventure with a Bang-Up Feast, while the villains of 'Dixon of Dock Green' would be Banged Up for a long stretch.

Pick the one that fits the styleof the song I guess.