Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Burning Bright

I'm reading Tracy Chevalier's new book about William Blake called Burning Bright (it takes its title from his poem The Tyger: Tyger, tyger burning bright...). I've enjoyed the insight into the often bizarre world of this visionary poet and artist. Chevalier does what I'd love to do some day: write novels about artists and authors, making them and their works come alive in ways plain biographies can't. Her first book, Girl with the Pearl Earring, was a huge success and is among my favorites of this genre. She does her homework, so you are immersed in quality and interesting information throughout the reading experience. This book takes the perspective of Blake's neighbors, so you see him from a totally different viewpoint from any other. Here, the neighbors are young teenagers on top of it, so the picture of this man is unique on that score as well.

Here are some of Tracy's favorite Blake quotes that I liked:

"…the moment I have written I see the words fly about the room in all directions."

"What is the price of Experience? Do men buy it for a song
Or wisdom for a dance in the street? No, it is bought with the price
Of all that a man hath, his house his wife his children."

" The man who never alters his opinions is like standing water,
and breeds reptiles of the mind."


Ruskin quote from Snapshots of Joy

1 comment:

Inland Empire Girl said...

I had read about this book and thought it sounded interesting. Thanks for confirming that !