Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 10432 Behind the Bars of the Gilded Cage—Freedom Milan Chlumsky “Every night and every morn Some to misery are born, Every morn and every night Some are born to sweet delight. Some are born to sweet delight, Some are born to endless night.” William Blake, Auguries of Innocence, 1800–1803 cited by The Doors in “End of the Night” , 1960s “Life is full of large and small prisons, which we enter voluntarily.” Simon Raab, 2010 It is somewhat unlikely that the poems of William Blake were familiar to broad sections of the population before musicians such as The Doors or Patti Smith made them popular in the 1960s. This popularisation enabled American director Jim Jarmusch to have Blake’s verse from Auguries of Innocence (as well as Songs of Innocence) spoken by the American Indian Nobody, the main character in his black-and-white film Dead Man (1995), as though every schoolchild in Great Britain and the USA had grown up with this verse. In his ingenious scenario,Jarmusch has Nobody believe in Blake’s reincarnation. It is predominant- ly Blake the poet and his verse that are addressed rather than Blake the painter and engraver. In truth, the young William was sent to one of London’s most important drawing schools at the age of only ten. He also achieved brilliant results in his examinations at London’s Royal Academy, and indeed had he not fallen out with Sir Joshua Reynolds, the Director of the Academy, he would probably have come to be considered one of the most important painters of his time. Blake was thus an engraver (as well as the inventor of relief etching), who wrote poems, illustrated them himself, considered Gothic art to be the apogee of all arts, and praised Dürer, Michelangelo, and Raphael as true artists. No wonder that the anachronistic engraver who lived in poverty did not go down in art history as a painter.Though the Pre-Raphaelites did recognize him as one of their own, it was their shared love for the Gothic that united them. As a poet, Blake extolled the sovereignty of reason and envisaged the raising of consciousness, without recourse to drugs, as a step towards achieving a deeper understanding of the world. An artist, in his view, was as a direct ally of God, while a priest was one who hindered just such a bond. Though he referred to himself as a “medium for the poetic spiritual being”, he spoke comparatively little about his painting— which can today be found, for example, in London’s Tate Gallery, as well as in New York and Boston. His biographers characterize him as a quite poor, yet nonetheless, a very happy individual. Prologue