William Blake and British Surrealism: Humphrey Jennings, the Impact of Machines and the case for Dada

Hopkins, D. (2018) William Blake and British Surrealism: Humphrey Jennings, the Impact of Machines and the case for Dada. Visual Culture in Britain, 19(3), pp. 305-320. (doi: 10.1080/14714787.2018.1522968)

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Abstract

This article addresses an issue that has eluded focused scholarship: the reception of William Blake within the British surrealist movement from the mid-1930s onwards. A significant difference can be seen between Blake as understood by the critic Herbert Read, and Blake as conceived by the surrealist writer and film maker Humphrey Jennings. These differences indicate that the internal dynamics of British surrealism might be re-considered. The assumption that surrealism in Britain bypassed the dada stage that it had undergone in France is challenged. Blake’s understanding of the advent of the machine is seen as crucial for an understanding of a ‘British’ variant of both dada and surrealism.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hopkins, Professor David
Authors: Hopkins, D.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
Journal Name:Visual Culture in Britain
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1471-4787
ISSN (Online):1941-8361

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