David Fallon is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Creative Writing at the University of Roehampton. He has published widely on topics including the debates surrounding the French Revolution, London bookselling and Romantic-period notions of sociability, but has a particular interest in William Blake, on whom he has published a series of articles and book chapters that have now culminated in his first monograph, Blake, Myth, and Enlightenment (Palgrave, 2017), which we discuss below.
1) How did you first become interested in Blake’s tangled relationship with Enlightenment thought?
I’d originally got interested in Blake through music and he seems to combine the dreamy utopianism of psychedelia with the hard-headed opposition and disillusionment of punk. I was always drawn to Blake as a contradictory writer and artist, whose difficulty to pin down was part of his fascination. From my undergraduate days I found him sitting uneasily with traditional notions of Romanticism. I’d always been captivated by the deep and creative spiritual vision in his poetry and art, but I felt that Blake was too hard-headed to simply be a flaky mystic dreamer, in the way he can sometimes be dismissed. The work of …read more