Category: William Blake’s reception


The subject matter of how I have grown as an English major came across my mind most recently as I have received decent to really outstanding grades on my essays, reflections, and short paragraph papers.  Despite the easiness in my ability to write, however, I additionally found myself dumbfounded as I, or we, were introduced to a more concise and detailed form of writing during the course of English 190. Initially, I felt perplexed and even a bit of discomfort in realizing that there was now a new system of writing I needed to level up to.  The reason behind the discomfort was not because I did not think I could reach such a caliber of written works, but instead it was because I knew it required me reaching deep within in myself and taking hold of all tools that had been handed down to me throughout my English Major journey. It would also require a unique type of carefulness when articulating all content, from the top of the introduction towards the end of the conclusion.  Most importantly, I knew that my professors had gotten to know me, my style of writing, as well as my capabilities and that, of course, I could no longer do minimal work -my ethics as a writer was now being observed more intently. In addition to the actual system of writing I have attained, and still had yet to acquire, the literature I have come to know also became the key to helping broaden my horizons. Altogether, the professors, the authors, and the content  found within the literary texts have all been extremely useful in helping me gain insight on the world and all of its diversity, as well as foresite in helping me understand what my purpose as a future instructor entails.

Having decided to return to school back several years ago was a choice that was not difficult to make; more so, it was a critical one.  Being as I had begun having children at a young age, I was involved in a lifestyle and cycle that kept me intellectually stunted. However, writing, as well as my love for communicating in a way that naturally required critical thought, never left my thought process.  It was actually what saved me. At the age of 30, I left the dire circumstance I was in, and began a healing process that would require much more than just having fled it. It required that I re-record all that I thought I was incapable of; and one of the first goals I decided to embark on was returning to school.  Choosing the English major was never questioned; I already knew that it was the subject built for me. Thus, the journey began; and although I was coming in later as a grown adult, and had to began essentially at the very beginning of the English prerequisites diagram, I was not deterred. The local community college is where my English seeds were planted, and where my roots are currently.  Everything was a learning process -from having to learn how to type up my essays by way of MLA format, to truly understanding development, organization of essay writing to, but most importantly, how to write a thesis. Just as I had to learn the basics of writing, I began healing along with those basic fundamentals, layer by layer.

Eventually, and almost immediately, my capacities as a writer and academic began to shine through.  Within a year of schooling, I would apply to become an English tutor, as all of my grades thus far in the English department, consisted of A’s and B’s.  This too became another healing mechanism in addition to a self-teaching method in helping me understand all the intricacies of writing. In having to empathize with the students who were coming in and trying to relearn the basics of writing, or for those who were already at a higher level, it made me learn the importance in obtaining different points of view.  In addition to that, I learned how to become more tolerant as well. There was a diverse set of people coming into the tutoring center who had their own set of barriers: students with learning disabilities, English language as a second or third language students, recently released incarcerated students, mothers returning back to school after being gone for over a decade, and so many others.  Through that experience, I knew that much even more that the academic setting was my home, and that teaching others was my calling.

In 2016, I would graduate with an AA in English, and wait on the response from UC Merced, to see if I had been accepted.  A few months later, I received an email stating I indeed had. I was full of excitement as well as elation. And, I must admit, I was also quite nervous; but once I began here at the UC, there was no going back.  UC Merced would now become my second home. At this point, the healing process was at a remarkable stage as the roots I had planted at the local community college now had grown and flourished into a full bloom of confidence and well developed skills.  It was a great feeling being in a setting where others were of the same major, and that we would all basically be traveling through our journey together. Also, to be able to have more focus on the English study was an amazing experience. The first class I took was with Dr. Brakow in Medieval and Renaissance culture and literature.  I could not think of a more perfect way to commence my understanding of the English roots. I loved learning how poetry has been timeless, and even the content within it and the social issues written it those works have been timeless as well. While at times, I may have found myself confused at the language, or the heavy metaphors that were difficult to decipher, I eventually came to accept that I was not going to be able to fully understand it all and that that was okay.  However, what is important is that I take the time to critically analyze the content and its historical connections. The process is what helped me in interpreting other reads, and other literary texts because if I could survive reading medieval and renaissance works, I could learn to understand almost anything.

I found it important to place myself in an area as a reader, or audience member to some of the texts, in a way that removed myself from feeling a bias or even a personal problem with the content.  Indeed, many, if not all of the earliest of writers were either colonists, or campaigned for the colonization of a land, group, or culture they deemed unworthy or beneath them. It is not to say that I do not find it important to interrogate such works in a way that is peril in giving back voice to those who were silenced, but more so that I was able to interpret the texts in a way that allowed me to understand the social construct at the time they were written.  It made me understand the importance of applying my own personal historical lineage to my works. I am a person of color, a Chicana and it is important that I campaign for women of my same background, but also overall that I utilize my own personal experience and journey as a returning academic and give it back to my community. It is also important to resist and interrogate what is considered normal; to truly “read between the lines” of all that is being communicated around us, at an even more obscure advanced way.

Well, here I am about to graduate from the UC Merced. I want to say, “I made it,” but it is deeper than that.  My initial purpose in returning to school was to heal and recondition all the damage that had been done to me, and the some I had done to myself.  At some point in time, I forgot that I was trying to heal. I guess it was because, at some point I had finally reached that goal. The scars of my past give me strength and inspire me to talk about them.  Yesterday, I sat alone thinking to myself about my beginnings as an English Major, I realized that I went from having the passionate desire to learn and absorb all that was being given to me, to now having the well earned capacity to mentor, teach and help guide the current as well as future generations to come.

-Marcy Martinez

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The William Blake course has opened my eyes to ways of systematizing. School is a systematizing experience. I grew up systematized by religion, and studied stories about God written by people who I assumed knew God. I learned more about myself than God in these experiences, but also because I can feel for Blake. Blake was a good Englishman, but he was scared of what was happening in the world, during the French Revolution. I’m not scared of anything, but because of Blake, I am reading his work at a higher level, like someone in an airplane, and it is because of Blake’s very humanizing in marvels of the beastial, read alongside allegorical characters, and with his settings of England and vegetated Jerusalem there is a literary resistance of the neoclassical; this statement about art and religion and history had me feeling the love between Enitharmon and her child, Orc, as his own morality became buried by the burning ravages of war and empire-building, and while I sat in our comfortable classroom, drinking Starbucks every, single Wednesday watching Milton get sucked off on the projector and Humberto lecture about ‘mental reptiles.’ Etymology and Blake’s symbolism collapse: Ross kept writing about Norse mythology for this very reason; facets of a white literature dominated not only this course but also my study of literature these last four years. Ironically, my white friends have no interest in hearing about literature. In the real world, obstreperous people mock people like us because for studying ‘pakistani feminism,’ but I think there are other discourses as well from which analogous reference to performance, art and literature can make sense of Blake’s currency of satirical and reactionary writing.

The first example of Blake’s career as an embedder made me think about my own process of creating gif art. The gif itself is a format for computing which consists of a hybridity in that it supports both animated and static images. Blake as an illustrator would have been enthralled with the gif as it lets you say so much, without saying anything at all. Meme ideology is so powerful that websites like Breitbart and Cambridge Analytica effectively mobilized Russian bots to target Internet users for manipulating the 2016 American elections with the presence of both animated and static images. Blake’s access to technology aside, his opening up of poetry to the world of political satire was technological in the sense that most of Blake’s counterparts were still writing boring pamphlets. Blake was sharp about standing out from the contemporaries, and I think his career and other biological factors helped him explore grandiosity while also dealing with the hopelessness of being a subject under authoritative control. Blake printed plates which expressed statements, contradictions, philosophical odes to the Bible, etc. In my weekly blog posts, I created gifs transforming Blake’s static images into lo-fi images containing glitch effects or color gradients. During the “Daughters of Albion” sections, I found that referring to other female poets helped focus on what Blake was trying to say about how he saw himself and his writing when borrowing classical figures like Beatrice and Dante. In these gifs I would add a purple gradient and bury it in the white color spectrum, then I would layer the color gradient behind any color matching a white color palette. This would create a glowing or subtle-glitch effect in which the viewer would not be too distracted by the transformations. Burying the purple gradient behind a white palette allowed the color to pop out only wherever the color white appeared in the image. By minimizing exposure of the gradient, the viewer also has an entirely subconscious and new focus on background images and colors that are not actually present, with the purple gradient- appearing only secondary to the original colors which Blake incorporated- within the borders of the dominating white palette (the page which frames the Blake illustrations was white and standard 10”x8.5” horizontal orientation). It is in the surrounding borders to Blake’s original work where he created vegetated imagery of Jerusalem. The tiger seems to be concerned with spatial, page arrangement, as he or she is crawling and two-dimensionally eluding the viewer’s gaze. Maybe because of this perception Blake had of the beast, we see animals in an entirely different way today, or maybe we do not care. The indifference of the scholar seems to be the crux of this course, as Blake himself was, ironically, not attuned to the conventions of Locke, Hobbes, Reynolds and the cast of conservative writers. His very attachment allowed him to build such a system which infamously sang about Los’ suffering. To create and to imagine is more than what we were asked for in this course. The task of identifying and responding to Blake became a challenge for myself as I often found myself saying the same thing, over and over and over. I wonder if this is what maturity looks like: repetitive, and in this context, self-deceived by superficiality of epic proportions. I have only just got in the water. I want to make love to the goddesses too, like Blake, but am satisfied with just capturing them on my iPhone photo app.

Since coming in contact with Blake’s knowledge, I also feel like the class and people in general have begun to turn against me, just for expressing love. I think that superstition often debases our intellect and faculties, but Blake knew this and tapped in to the power to traumatize human psyche. I feel like expressing my ideas has become something ghastly, because in our department it is scary to go against the grain. Religion and our parents coddle us with materiality and this takes away from the college experience. When people want to justify whatever certainties or validations their biases require, it suffocates your ability to push the envelope when coming in contact with forms of knowledge like what Blake has created. I wish we didn’t use binaries like ‘atheist’ or ‘radical’ in the year 2018, but it shows how far we still have to reach beyond what I think Blake was warning us about, much like the founding fathers envisioned in their forming the United States with a document which could be either loosely or strictly read as the Constitution. We have come a long ways as a superstitious people, but if there is anything to detest in academia, it is people who use forms of knowledge to build agendas, to sell books, and who knowledge. Human rights as a category in the midst of existential crisis can release us from these mental shackles just as Blake invests in allegorical readings for subjecting himself to contemporary and postmodern myths about religion, politics, and historical inventions. It seems like Blake was frustrated with 18th century trends of self-grandiosity, religious certainty and moral debasing grounded on so-called intellectual justification, and for that, I thank you.

Works Cited

  1. Christian, Bradley. “Facebook profile pic” editor Glitché. 2018. Web. <EzLivin.org/dingobrad>

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Daniel Lizaola Lopez

Humberto Garcia

English 190: Senior Thesis

May 2, 2018

I wasn’t always an English major. I was lost in the vortex of societal norms and allowed the cosmology of my origin be originated by my environment. In high school, I was influenced by Ernesto “Che” Guevara and his passions. For the duration of my career there, I envisioned a future wherein I helped my community through a medical profession, working towards bettering their environments. Therefore, I entered college with an eye on biology and chemistry.

However, I soon learned that it wasn’t my calling; I wanted to change the world, but that wasn’t my path nor my way of doing so. Though I knew what passion I had for literature and pedagogy, I was lost in a panic of self-doubt, frantically seeking approval from my peers for wanting a future thought miniscule and futile. Though—as all bad things do, with the right attitude—that stays in the past. When I told my mother that I chose to work towards a teaching opportunity, and not a medical one, she hugged me with a sense of relief that one does when sighing. This happened late into my college career, but entering my third year at University of California, Merced, I found myself immersing into the new life I set for myself.

I was fortunate enough to have taken a course with Trevor Jackson—Intro to Short Story—and it was an experience I will carry along with me as I move further in my career. It was a lower division course, but the level of engagement and reflection within the class made it feel as if we were mini scholars. One text from that course that still sticks with me today is written by none other than Herman Melville: “Bartleby, the Scrivener”; a story of resistance and protest till death. Applying the autobiographical context to this short makes it even more powerful; Melville himself was having hardships with his publishing and was forced to write when/what he would prefer not to. Though it is lengthy and the language is no longer fresh, I would still love to assign this text to my future students for the practice of resistance to oppression—of course, identifying first what is oppression and what is mundanity. Ergo, my college career has been ultimately in reflection to what I can learn to teach others.

I was at my most impressionable when attending Dr. Hakala’s survey course of literary theories; and though she has an army of critiques against her, I learned best from her. Students come into college thinking they’re learning things they already know—simply refining them into a more cohesive sense of understanding what they know—but in this course, not only did I learn new material, I learned how to apply them, keeping in mind that that most texts are multifaceted. Therefore, a well-structured argument is of multiple critical theories; I learned that my favorite theoretical frameworks are: Marxist criticism and queer studies. With my future ahead of me, I was excited to learn so many ways to approach literature, for myself and for others. I passion to become the unorthodox professor/mentor that students feel encouraged to share their minds with one another, learning to refrain from the cautionary introduction of “I might be wrong…”

Professor Manuel Martín-Rodriguez (Chicana/o literature) told the class one day, to paraphrase: “if you begin a statement with caution, you discredit yourself before you’ve even made a claim.” From then on, I’ve made it my goal to always assert my thought, cutting out the passivity of an introduction; and this helped me in and out of school. It was around this time that I began to immerse myself in my community. Learning the struggles each writer encountered in their literary journey opened my eyes to how important we are to one another; it is through our communal efforts that literary movements advance. Notwithstanding, the course filled the empty hole that was my relation to literature and pedagogy. Hitherto, I hadn’t seen anyone of my color in my studies; and so, it was refreshing to read from another López. Although I’d love to thank the professor for influencing and motivating me to embrace my community and begin writing, I know he would defer his teachings to the actual writers we’ve studied. To paraphrase something else he once said in class: “it’s not my voice you’re hearing, it’s theirs”; and that has made all the difference in my ideals of pedagogy.

In my current senior thesis course, instructed by Humberto Garcia, I have found the style of teaching I longed for; each student is treated as formidable scholars and are given the respect earned. Notwithstanding, the professor has never failed to challenge the students, allowing us to showcase the skills we’ve adapted throughout the years. It is through this experience that we students reflect how each preceding course has enabled our ability to interpret text in a collegiate level. Dr. Garcia’s style of teaching was always inviting, challenging, and most importantly, an engaging experience; scarcely were the students ever felt they were being given a task that was out of their expertise—and this was mainly due to the careful preparation the professor applied to his lessons.

Ultimately, I take with me these lessons: always challenge the system that wrings out your labor; we learn not for ourselves, but for others; have faith in your arguments and refrain from cautionary introductions. I take all these lessons together in reflection of my career in its entirety, and I am confident in my near future as I work towards creating a healthier environment through pedagogy.

It all began with my seventh grade English teacher, Ms. Leon. Your typical Los Angeles bipolar weather: a mixture of cold wind with hot sun rays beaming right at your skin. Class resumed right after nutrition. I recall her standing at the center of the room, everyone’s eyes glaring at her presence. She began pacing back and forth, back and forth before saying anything to us. “How many of you know the amount of power your writing has?” she asked. Nobody raised their hand. “How many of you realize that a simple manipulation of a word or phrase can alter the meaning of your sentence?” Again, everyone remained quiet. “Whether you realize it, your words, phrases, sentences have the power to make people think and make them see things your way.” I consider Ms. Leon an inspiring woman who ultimately pushed my interest in the English Language Arts. I never paid much attention to how much of an influence literature has on society and its readers; the power behind every word and phrase, the diverse set of emotions readers are able to feel simply through a writer’s word choice. I wanted my writing and my work to have that type of influence on people. I wanted readers to feel as if they were actually living and experiencing what I was writing, I wanted to evoke emotion from them. If my writing carried sorrow, I wanted that sadness to penetrate onto the paper; if my work carried happiness, I wanted my readers to sense that joy simply by reading the words I produced. I wanted my words and phrases to speak for themselves.

I wasn’t always an English major when I began my studies as an undergrad. Certainly, taking courses like Writing 10 and Core also didn’t help towards changing my major any sooner. It wasn’t until I took English 101 with Professor Brokaw that I began to listen to the literature. Even though this course consisted of a lot of old English texts – with authors like Shakespeare and Milton – Professor Brokaw always helped us analyze these intricate piece of works. She made, what seemed like “hard” and “boring” material, engaging and easy to understand. Most of all, she had her own unique way of connecting old texts written during Shakespeare’s time to modern times. Themes we discussed in these texts began to connect to the times we live in now (an attribute that wasn’t seen in Writing 10 or Core). What’s more, she was one of the main Professors who helped me understand the difference between analyzing a piece of work and summarizing it. Through her guidance and knowledge, interpreting texts became easier. By using textual and contextual evidence, it became easier to build off of one sentence, phrase, or word and engage with it for a page and a half. A task I considered difficult at a certain point became doable. The main thing I noticed – and ended up appreciating – from the English 101 texts was the significant amount of emotions writers had in their writing. For instance, the work of Shakespeare carried a significant amount of mixed emotion. From comedy, to love, to sorrow, and dark humor, these emotions these types of genres are supposed to evoke from the reader were evident. I cannot explain what I’m trying to say other than works similar to Shakespeare’s had meaning behind it. I’ve read works by Charles Dickens, Oscar Wylde, and Charlotte Bronte (to name a few) and, as unfortunate as it is to say, they failed to have the same emotional impact as the works assigned in English 101 and Gasp 103 (Advanced Shakespeare taught by Professor Brokaw). Despite some of the literature not having a deep impact on me as a reader, as a writer, I was able to grasp onto some of the writing techniques and choices I saw in literature. Being exposed to different types of literature, you begin to see the writing style between writer ‘A’ and writer ‘B’. Being exposed to different types of literature and writers allows you to see what you may and may not like as and whatever you do like, you can use it to your own advantage.

Because I’m required to take other non-major courses, I found interest in taking classes that deal with Sociology. Something I wasn’t aware of with these types of courses was the amount of writing and analyzation demanded. To my advantage, I’m able to use my analyzation skills whenever I’m asked to write a response paper regarding reading assignments. I’m able to decipher as something as small as a phrase or idea and apply it to the big picture of the reading; I’m able to interpret something miscellaneous and get to the big picture without losing my main point. It becomes extremely easy to begin to summarize inside of analyzing an assignment – which, thanks to my English courses – is something I’ve improved on. Furthermore, my major has allowed me to play “devil’s advocate” whenever we have debates in my other classes. I’ve learned that whenever you make an argument, to make it easier on yourself, try to think of what those who may not agree with you would say to contradict your ideas. This forces you to use your critical thinking skills and push yourself into further developing your ideas. Another major problem I would have whenever it came to writing my papers were transitioning sentences. For me, it’s difficult to smoothly transition from one paragraph to another without having it sound “off.” However, Professor Hakala would often give us pointers on some techniques we were able to use to make the transition simple. However, despite these past four years taking English courses, I still find myself running into trouble here and there. Because I was once in a position where I didn’t know where to begin, small exercises that would involve us to analyze texts and write a response would be extremely helpful in our lower division courses. Pushing us to say more about a piece of work would also improve our critical thinking skills with our knowledge.

Reminder: students will no longer need to submit blog posts.

I also want dedicate Patti Smith’s song, “My Blakean Year,” to my hardworking students, who have struggled to understand Blake’s works only to discover the joy of the poetic genius.

By the way, is this what female self-annihilation looks and sounds like?

here’s Patti Smith’s lyrics to the song:

“My Blakean Year”

In my Blakean year I was so disposed
Toward a mission yet unclear Advancing pole by pole
Fortune breathed into my ear Mouthed a simple ode
One road is paved in gold
One road is just a road
In my Blakean year Such a woeful schism
The pain of our existence
Was not as I envisioned
Boots that trudged from track to track
Worn down to the sole
One road is paved in gold
One road is just a road
Boots that tramped from track to track Worn down to the sole
One road was paved in gold
One road was just a road
In my Blakean year
Temptation but a hiss
Just a shallow spear
Robed in cowardice
Brace yourself for bitter flack
For a life sublime
A labyrinth of riches
Never shall unwind
The threads that bind the pilgrim’s sack
Are stitched into the Blakean back
So throw off your stupid cloak
Embrace all that you fear
For joy shall conquer all despair In my Blakean year
So throw off your stupid cloak
Embrace all that you fear
For joy shall conquer all despair In my Blakean year

Giving head is a process. Beyond just the physical act, male-to-male oral sex transports us into a different realm. A realm beyond, what William Blake calls “mental fight.” Self-annihilation, the arrival at true, honest, uncensored self-reflection is the apocalypse. What we do once we arrive at Eternity determines our resurrection.

People have been dying, awaiting the second coming. But William Blake urges us to “Judge then of they Own Self: they Eternal Lineaments explore:/What is Eternal and what Changeable? & what Annihilable!/The Imagination is not a State: it is the Human Existence itself” (lines 30-32).  Since everything that is created is destroyed, we must venture into Eternity and save ourselves.

The engraved images of male-to-male oral sex appear to be divine, with rays of light blasting, in all directions, from the men. Two different people, yet the same person. One foot in the “real world”, one foot in Eternity. William Blake has unlocked our path to resurrection, towards healing and coming to love ourselves, in one of the most accessible, user-friendly, free methods. Homosexual oral sex is the bridge to Eternity, a necessary trip for our self-annihilation.

 

 

blake-milton-2

Pay close attention to the positioning of the feet in the engraved images.

– Israel Alonso

 “Milton will utterly consume us & thee our beloved Father” 

In Milton: Book the Second, Blake finds himself in the garden. Ololon meets Blake and then eventually finds Milton, and we find out that she is Milton’s feminine self. Blake express that Ololon’s position as a virgin is one that puts her in an “annihilable” state. And only by giving up her virginity is she free. Therefore, negation is necessary. This negation to preserve the opposite of Ololon turns out to be Milton. The negation is described as:

a false Body: an Incrustation over my Immortal
Spirit; a Selfhood, which must be put off & annihilated alway

The false body means entrapment and annihilation, and destruction to the immortal. So, to deny negation is to remain unscathed by one’s sexual potential. The ultimate sexual potential at this time would in fact be male-to-male oral sex. In the later line, the need for nudity and for undressing lineaments that are like ‘arks & curtains’.

These are the Sexual Garments, the Abomination of Desolation
Hiding the Human lineaments as with an Ark & Curtains

The ‘sexual garments’ hide the ‘human lineaments’ as illustrated in the image below, although, the person getting orally satisfied does appear to be wearing a small underwear-like garment. The background appears to be a sun because of the red flames encircling the yellow circle. However, the inside of the sun, where the yellow circle appears also has what appears to resemble many vaginal labias. Perhaps this could be a tie into another sexual organ besides what we assume is the penis, but perhaps the presence of the vagina is also an indication of the birth of this sexual act(the male-to-male oral sex). The person giving the fellatio is on their knees (which isn’t out of the ordinary), but the position in which they have their body facing forward and their head turned around is odd. The way that they are also looking into the other person’s eyes is a bit odd given the awkward position that they are in.

The identity of both of the participants is also ambiguous because the face of on figure isn’t visible since he is looking up. This brings into question the identities of the participants. An idea that came to me is that it could be Milton and Milton. Perhaps the ultimate way to not self annihilate is masturbation, which is sinful in even more ways that just plain male-to-male oral sex. However, I also think masturbation would indicate the ego/self righteousness. Another thought was that it was Ololon the “six fold Miltonic female”, but that would take away the significance of male-on-male oral sex. Another darker thought that arose was that the figures are either Milton and all of his followers, or (bear with me here) Milton and Blake. Given that throughout the first book, Blake is imitating the things he blames Milton of (ie. using women as objects, feeding into his own ego). It also makes sense to me because Blake is the person that Ololon goes to in order to be redirected to Milton. Therefore, Blake is perhaps acting as a link or maybe in more sexual terms: a vagina for Ololon to connect to Milton. Either way, this is extremely progressive for the time, and I had to stop myself from photoshopping Milton and Blake’s heads to this image.

Blake Milton 2

-Beyanira Bautista

Animals are a species that have learned to live by a popular phrase: “Survival of the fittest.” This idea of animals being “survivalist” in the world can be seen in book 2 of William Blake’s “Milton.” For example, he goes on to write that “All animals upon the Earth are prepared in strength / To go forth to the Great Harvest & Vintage of the Nations” (Blake, 203). Through the harsh conditions imposed by mother nature, animals have an innate instinct of fighting to stay alive. Ultimately, they fall into two different categories in the wild: Predators or Preys; those that will survive, and those that will fight to survive. Regardless of the situation an animal finds itself in it will do whatever it takes to ensure it safety. Whether its running away or attacking another animal, these instincts are born within. They weren’t taught by Mother Nature nor informed that “you will have to fight for your life “and “you will have to kill to survive.” Their instincts are learned through the lives they live and endure on a daily bases. If we think about this statement long enough, all animals are fighting to stay alive as long as they can without having any knowledge of it.

Unlike animals, humans are considered vulnerable organisms who have a lower chance of survival in the wild, even (as Blake would put it) in the upcoming apocalypse. Humans are fragile beings who are accustomed to feeling “safe” majority of their lifetime. Through shelter, self-defense, and many other forms the safety of humans is almost guaranteed. Like animals, the role of human beings is to survive in the upcoming Apocalypse. Contrary to an animal’s innate instinct of survival, human beings would essentially fall onto the bottom of the food chamber due to their vulnerability. The constant and secure feeling of safety would diminish. They would be the Prey while the rest of the wild life would be the Predators.

Milton wants to celebrate self-love through the journey of sexual liberation, breaking away from the Urizen state of mind that “dares to mock with the aspersion of Madness/Cast on the Inspired, by the tame high finisher of paltry Blots” (202). The madness of course being the image offered through plate 47: two men–one enjoys the pleasure of another’s giving.

As we’ve discussed in class, the act of Self-Annihilation is no annihilation at all; it is meant to liberate the person in action–in this case through masturbation and/or sex with the member of the same sex. Therefore, in order for there to be a contrary state of mind, there ought to be the destruction of negations. In other words, you can’t know your true sexuality until you’ve experimented with it i.e., with yourself, others of same sex, and others.

So when Milton “come[s] in Self-annihilation & the grandeur of Inspiration”, he is reaching the orgasmic transcendence that is offered through the imagination of Los, by throwing away his filthy garments from Albion’s covering through reason (202). Then, and only then, can one stand at the entrance of the void outside of existence–and through the practice of imagination–see it as a womb: the birth of the Eternal Death of Albion.

–Daniel Lizaola Lopez

Ololon’s annihilation connection towards her views of being Milton’s contrary are clear. Ololon claims it when she mentions “Is this our Feminine Portion, the Six-fold Miltonic Female? Terribly this Portion trembles before thee O awful Man” (202).  She makes connections to Milton by claiming to be the other female Six-fold counterpart to Milton. In a sense, she explains that her annihilation is similar, yet different from Milton, just like how a woman has similar parts of a man, but is still different. Blake seems to make another connection with Ololon and Milton through the Six-fold. “Dolorous that ran thro all Creation, a Double Six-fold Wonder” (202). the double six-fold can be interpreted as a DNA Helix,  one being Milton, while the other being Ololon, and together, they are this wonder because without DNA, there is no life.