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Reviews

Vol. 47 no. 2: Fall 2013

Susanne M. Sklar, Blake’s Jerusalem as Visionary Theatre: Entering the Divine Body

  • R. Paul Yoder
Submitted
7 October 2013
Published
07 Oct. 2013

Abstract

Every reader brings his or her own strengths to Blake’s Jerusalem. Susanne Sklar’s strength lies in her biblical and theological background, and in Blake’s Jerusalem as Visionary Theatre: Entering the Divine Body, she identifies an extensive range of biblical references and echoes in Blake’s masterpiece, while she also embeds the poem in the context of various eighteenth-century social and religious movements, including Freemasonry, Moravianism, and the Messianism of Joanna Southcott. Sklar also wants to use the notion of “visionary theatre” to show that Jerusalem can be read both synchronically (holistically, like a painting) and diachronically (for its story and plot). However, she is more successful at deploying the biblical and theological context than with applying the visionary theatre aspect, and the result is a discussion without a clear overall thesis.