You are not currently logged in.
Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Blake's Laocoön: A Degree Zero of Literary Production
David E. James
Vol. 98, No. 2 (Mar., 1983), pp. 226-236
Published by: Modern Language Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/462047
Page Count: 11
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Art objects, Statues, Sculpture, Christianity, Literary criticism, Engraving, Allegory, Jewish art, Materialism
Were these topics helpful?See something inaccurate? Let us know!
Select the topics that are inaccurate.
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
Blake's late engraving, erroneously known as The Laocoön, presents an unusually direct relation between the content of a literary work and the way the work is produced and consumed as an artifact. By restoring the statue's correct meaning ("Jah & his two Sons Satan & Adam"), Blake arrested its fall into materiality and application to "Natural Fact" and, in doing so, redeemed for spiritual purposes the engraving that he had begun as a commercial undertaking. In his commentary on the plate, he clarified for the first time the mutual exclusivity of art and commerce, not by making a materialist analysis, but by associating art with religion's traditional antipathy to money. He formulated a view of art as devotional practice rather than as the production of commodities, and this logic allowed the plate only the barest form of material existence.
PMLA © 1983 Modern Language Association