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Material TransgressionsBeyond Romantic Bodies, Genders, Things$
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Kate Singer, Ashley Cross, and Suzanne Barnett

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789621778

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789621778.001.0001

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Voices against the Universe

Voices against the Universe

Material Transgressions in the Blakean Multiverse

(p.297) Chapter Thirteen Voices against the Universe
Material Transgressions

Mark Lussier

Liverpool University Press

In William Blake’s Visions of the Daughters of Albion, when Oothoon finds her voice and re/fuses to function as the mirror of male desire, her heroics are undertaken against the backdrop of the baleful and jaundiced eye of patriarchal ideology. She thereafter moves into a free-flowing form of lamentation that articulates a transgressive poetics of self-assertion and self-determination. Oothoon’s voice goes unheeded (except by the daughters of Albion), yet her determination to arise daily and articulate the lamentative argument anew manifests the quiet heroism of everyday life. Oothoon’s act of assertion establishes, at the beginning of the prophecies, a model emulated by other female characters, with the female voice of semiosis providing a counter expression to the relentless monological language of the symbolic and all that it bears/bares. In Visions, the activity that Britta Timm Knudson and Carsten Stage term “affective textuality” is evident in its entangled force fields of semiosis, with the title plate and the frontispiece registering the split operations of what Lacan termed “The eye and the gaze.” The under analyzed visual field of Visions provides insight into the Blakean attempt through textual experimentation to render affect itself into a material condition of his textuality.

Keywords:   William Blake, Visions of the Daughters of Albion, Oothoon, Antigone, Illuminated prophecies, Affective textuality, Semiosis

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