The First Book Of Urizen William Blake [republicV]

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The Book of Urizen is one of the major prophetic books of the English poet William Blake, illustrated by BlakeΓÇÖs own plates. It was originally published as The First Book of Urizen in 1794. Later editions dropped the word ΓÇ£firstΓÇ¥.

The book takes its name from the character Urizen in BlakeΓÇÖs mythology, who represents alienated reason as the source of oppression. The book describes Urizen as the ΓÇ£primeaval priestΓÇ¥, and describes how he became separated from the other Eternals to create his own alienated and enslaving realm of religious dogma. Los and Enitharmon create a space within UrizenΓÇÖs fallen universe to give birth to their son Orc, the spirit of revolution and freedom.

In form, the book is a parody of the Book of Genesis, with BlakeΓÇÖs Urizen being more similar to the demiurge of the Gnostics than a benevolent creator.

ΓÇ£The poet and artist William Blake was born in London in 1757. He was apprenticed to an engraver and studied drawing at the Royal Academy. In 1783 he published his first book of poetry, Poetical Sketches. Blake was a religious mystic who eschewed the traditional teaching of the Christian churches to invent his own doctrines and symbols, which he drew from classical and Celtic mythology and many other sources. This printing of The Book of Urizen from the Rosenwald Collection at the Library of Congress introduces a figure, Urizen, whom for Blake represented morality and legality. Most of BlakeΓÇÖs books were not published in the traditional sense but printed for special commissions by private collectors or London booksellers. As a consequence, they are extremely rare. Blake died in 1827, in poverty and relative obscurity, but by the mid-20th century he had become, in the words of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, ΓÇ£one of the cultural icons of the English-speaking world.ΓÇ¥		
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