Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Our Lunatics Were Prophets Once

William: Born in the Eighteenth century, our greatest prophet, William Blake, experienced visions; spoke with Milton's ghost, or the Apostle Paul...
Netley: Sound barmy.
William: Possibly.
And yet, as Alexander Gilchrist, Blake's biographer, suggests, 'Tis but comparatively recently that seeing visions would call into doubt a person's sanity.
Why, Roman military logs describe divine encounters quite routinely; less remarkable than horse-shoes lost or Quartermaster's lists. Our brains were different then: The Gods seemed real.
In Gilchrist's words, Blake's spiritually belonged to earlier ages of the world, since when, as Hazlitt has remarked "The Heavens have gone further off."
Our lunatics were prophets once, and had a prophet's power. Never forget that, Netley.
From Hell
by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell 

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