Narrative Structure of William Blake’s Poem Jerusalem. A Revisionist Interpretation

Author: Yoder, R. Paul
Argues that William Blake’s last major poem, Jerusalem, possesses a narrative structure. This argument runs contrary to the critical consensus that sees the poem as possessing a “synchronic” structure in which the events of the poem all occur simultaneously rather than sequentially. This book contains three color photographs.


“. . . R. Paul Yoder marshals a persuasive array of neglected or overlooked evidence, both physical and thematic.” – Mary Lynn Johnson, University of Iowa

“Not only does [this work] make a significant and original contribution to the field, it has the potential to redirect future readings of Jerusalem in a narrative direction.” – Prof. Jennifer D. Michael, Sewanee University

"In this book, [the author] demonstrates precisely how the poem's narrative has been neglected or trivialized and what the crucial consequences of taking the narrative into account would be." -- Molly Ann Rothenberg

Table of Contents

Foreword by Nelson Hilton
Introduction: A Community of Readers and the Pull of Narrative
Chapter 1: The Problems of Synchrony
Chapter 2: Significant Events: The Narrative of Jerusalem
Chapter 3: The Disappearing Context Trick: Blake’s Rhetoric of Discontinuity
Chapter 4: A Choice of Gods: Discourses of Divinity and Friendship
Coda: Felpham and Jerusalem