A Defense of Blake’s “Catalogue” and Descriptive Criticism

By Eric Loy


By Margaret Speer

In her May 14 post, “Blake’s ‘Catalogue’ and Descriptive Criticism,” my colleague and fellow undergraduate project assistant, Megan, impugned Blake, suggesting that his tone in the Descriptive Catalogue evinces a character somewhere on a spectrum between ridiculous and certifiable. I would like to offer a different response to, if not impression of, Mr. B’s insane aggression as manifested in the Descriptive Catalogue.

Megan and I have both been working for a while now on checking our transcription of the Descriptive Catalogue against our standard references: she, Bentley; I, Erdman (the Descriptive Catalogue is a typographical work—stay tuned for a possible blog post about the concept of transcribing typographical works by someone who knows more about it than I!). My disclaimer is that she has finished this checking, while I am about 20% done, which means that she has read through quite a bit more of Blake’s accusatory aesthetic rhetoric than I.

However, I beg to differ that Blake is either laughable or alarmingly mad in his disgruntled ramblings—I prefer adjectives like “adorable,” “justifiable,” or “endearing.” First off, I think the fact that Blake nicknames himself “Mr. B” deserves more attention than passing mention. William …read more

Source: http://blakearchive.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/a-defense-of-blakes-catalogue-and-descriptive-criticism/