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100 1  McCarthy, Erik 
245 10 William Blake's "Laocoon":  The genealogy of a form 
300    498 p 
500    Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 68-
       12, Section: A, page: 5075 
500    Adviser: Ann Rowland 
502    Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Kansas, 2007 
520    The purpose of this dissertation is to explore the 
       relationship between the British artist and poet William 
       Blake and the art of Antiquity, in particular the Laocoon 
       sculpture group in the Museo Pio-Clementino in Rome. 
       Unlike many of his contemporaries, Blake never saw the 
       work firsthand, but he knew of it through the writings of 
       such prominent eighteenth-century art theorists as 
       Winckelmann, Lessing and Fuseli, and from plaster casts in
       the Royal Academy collections. The recurrence of the 
       Laocoontic gesture in his art and illuminated poetry 
       testifies to its powerful hold on his imagination, and my 
       goal is to ascertain the significance of this gesture in 
       relation to his own theories of art and, more particularly,
       his prophetic writings 
520    The first two chapters discuss the sculpture in the 
       broader context of late eighteenth-century aesthetic 
       theory, art historiography, and Anglo-French nationalism. 
       This includes a detailed discussion of the popular debate 
       surrounding the semiotics of graphic and textual 
       representation, a debate that has long been at the center 
       of Blake studies, since his prophetic books consist of 
       both visual and verbal elements. Further attention is 
       given to the prominence of the sculpture in the 
       development of neoclassical taste and the privileging of 
       the Greek ideal in the art academies of England and 
       France. Both countries adopted this ideal as a way to give
       cultural legitimacy to their respective geopolitical and 
       economic ambitions. Blake's writings on art reveal his 
       keen awareness and interest in these debates, culminating 
       in his remarkable engraving of the Laocoon surrounded by a
       dense, disjointed textual apparatus that addresses all 
       these concerns 
520    Chapters three and four deal specifically with the 
       recurrence of the Laocoontic gesture in Blake's graphic 
       work and illuminated poetry. I begin by explaining the 
       rationale behind such formulaic repetitions as the 
       foundation for an elaborate expressive code that assigns 
       specific meanings to the gesture, and then trace these 
       meanings in several of the illuminated prophecies, 
       starting first with the shorter Lambeth books (America, 
       Europe, and The Book of Urizen), and then proceeding to a 
       chapter-length study of the Four Zoas manuscript, a work 
       that has received less critical attention than his two 
       other epic-length prophecies, Milton and Jerusalem. My 
       primary point in these readings is that, in the same way 
       the sculpture came to symbolize for Blake ideal beauty 
       degraded by imperialism and war, in the illuminated poetry
       the same figure represents humanity in both its fallen and
       redemptive states 
590    School code: 0099 
590    DDC 
650  4 Art History 
650  4 Literature, English 
690    0377 
690    0593 
710 2  University of Kansas.|bEnglish 
773 0  |tDissertation Abstracts International|g68-12A 
856 40 |uhttp://pqdd.sinica.edu.tw/twdaoapp/servlet/