Blake’s Night Thoughts by Jeremy Tambling (auth.)

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By Jeremy Tambling (auth.)

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Infraction is frightening – like death: and yet it is attractive, as though the being only wanted to survive out of weakness, as though exuberance inspired that contempt for death which is necessary once the rule has been broken. These principles are bound up with human life. They are at the basis of Evil, of heroism or of sanctity. (186–7) Bataille opposes rule to value. Law can never give values, in upholding blind universal rules. Value comes from the heterogeneous, whose mobility and power of disruption break the rule.

O was no deny. (E. 467, K. ] females loud applause (E. 471, K. 171) Silence and invisibility intersect with the ‘Silent Silent Night’, while ‘darkness’ makes this a night-poem. 13 In ‘Never pain to tell thy love’, the lover believes in secrecy, ‘For the gentle wind doth move / Silently, invisibly’. He fears uncertainty, but those second two lines indicate that the wind teaches the need for secrecy. The second stanza is upstream from this conclusion, implying the desire to stabilize, where telling tolls the death-knell.

Despite’ means the feeling of looking down, or despising something. Love builds a hell in the face of the contempt of a superior heaven or builds a hell to defy (to spite) heaven; defies its contempt, spites its despite. If love joys in another’s loss of ease, heaven becomes contemptuous, but love goes on to build a hell. The clod had sung that love builds a heaven in hell’s despair, making despair normative for hell, or meaning that hell despairs at love’s ability to transcend it. But heaven is in virtual despair (called despite) when it sees love’s ability to create a hell.

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