William Blake's Enoch Lithograph: Self-annihilation & /as Artistic and Ecological Inspiration
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The British Romantic artist/poet William Blake's lithograph Enoch (1806/7) illustrates the enigmatic Genesis 5:24 fragment "Enoch walked with God; then was no more, because God took him away." The passage marks a moment of individual transformation where a biblical character is annihilated, which Blake utilizes to think through his idea of self-annihilation. The theme emerges in the lithograph in a way that connects with and informs Blake's culminating illuminated epics the 1811 Milton: A Poem in 2 Books and the 1820 Jerusalem The Emanation of the Giant Albion. In the former the central poetic persona asserts: "I come in self-annihilation and the grandeur of inspiration." The thesis expands views that emphasize thematic interactions between visual art and poetry within discrete illuminated books. I show that Blake cultivates major themes across seemingly minor works of art and the better-known illuminated books in relation to his art historical context.