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Reproduction of Songs of Innocence and Experience January 28, 2009

Posted by baimeeker in art, visual culture.
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I do not think it is weird that most publications of Songs leave out the prints. Although our text does include these prints, they felt the need to also include the text. Copies of these prints are hard to read. This reflects one of the difficulties of reproductive technology.

When David Mack gave his talk last semester, he brought original art from his comic. Although I had seen some of these pages in Kabuki Art books, I was stunned at how different they looked in real life. The art took on another dimension of clarity, a different medium, and even a literal thickness missing in its copies. Copying results in fuzziness, everything printed in the same medium (computer ink), and a loss of the third dimension of thickness produced with heavy paint or Mack’s pasted borders. This can be seen in the fuzziness of the text in Songs. The ink and method of printing are different than in the original.  And of course, it is also a copy of a copy.

I am not saying that we should read only the text, but that if we lose a dimension by leaving out the pictures, we also lose a dimension through the copy machine. My question is, how much do we lose and how important is this dimension to our understanding of Songs?

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Comments»

1. JoJo - January 28, 2009

This was really insightful. The idea of losing a dimension with a copier is interesting because it made me think about my kabuki creative project. For those of you who weren’t in the class with me last semester, my project was on a posterboard and I divided it into two sides a “zoomed in” chess board. Each square had a collage and I actually took pictures of it to have on my computer. When I look at the pictures I took, they do not give the project justice because I used different materials and the color is especially important. When I look through the Songs, I wondered as well whether I am missing something, but I feel we also should be appreciative that we can even make reproductions such as these to “re-distribute/show” someone’s work.

2. slickpig - January 28, 2009

Yet I think we have to remember that the illustrations, with all of their fuzzyness and charm, where prints that were meant to be reproduced. The most “original” of all of these images, would have been the blocks from which they were printed, not one of these images themselves. I think that yes, something is lost when you cannot read the text with the images because clearly William Blake had a totality of vision in mind when he created and paired the poems with the images, but the reproduction of the images and the poetry is important.

3. jr4024 - January 29, 2009

(I didn’t know my comment worked! Sorry, its a post too.)


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