In Conversation with Jason Whittaker – Recording

Jason Whittaker discusses the impact of William Blake and the writing and art of William Blake.

Global Blake: In Conversation with Jason Whittaker: Mapping Hell - Alasdair Gray and William Blake

At the time of his death in 2019, the novelist and artist Alasdair Gray was widely lauded as a Scottish William Blake.

This talk will trace the influence of William Blake on Gray as an example of what I call second-order reception, his interest in the earlier artist being stimulated by Joyce Cary's The Horse's Mouth, which he read when he was twelve years old and which stimulated him to train as a painter and muralist. His early writing was also, in turn, affected by James Joyce who had transferred Blake in various ways to Dublin and, like the Anglo-Irish Cary, demonstrated the particular appeal of "English" Blake as an alternative model for national art and literature.

Jason Whittaker
Jason Whittaker is a writer and professor at the University of Lincoln specialising in William Blake. He has published and edited seven books on Blake and is the editor of the Blake blog, He is responsible for development of content on Global Blake as well as its design. He is also Treasurer of The Blake Society and managing editor for VALA.