1859 -- Lifelong opium-eater, romantic writer Thomas
De Quincey dies, Lasswade, near Edinburgh, 74.
Author of Confessions of an English Opium-Eater.
1886 -- Radical Mexican muralist Diego Rivera
lives, Guanajuato. Frida's man & Trotsky's host.
1919 -- Jailed at Ellis Island on the 5th, "Made
Anarchists" Emma Goldman & Alexander Berkman
appear in federal court before Judge Julius M. Mayer,
who declares that as aliens, they have no constitutional
rights. They remain in detention at Ellis Island.
1943 -- Jim Morrison lives. American rock singer/lyricist
& cult figure since his death. His collections of poetry
include An American Prayer (1970) & The Lords &
The New Creatures (1971).
1980 -- John Lennon permanently loses his voice; killed
by a fan. The former Beatle was shot outside his
apartment building in New York City by Mark David
Chapman, a former psychiatric patient.
"I think of John's death as a war casualty
-- it is the war between the sane & the insane."
-- Yoko Ono
1982 -- US: Will Norman Mayer stop the MX missile?
Demanding an end to nuclear weapons, Norman Mayer,
holds the Washington Monument hostage.
After 10 hours, police kill him.
He had no explosives.
Who then are the terrorists?
The English poet was born on this day in 1757.
(28 November 1757 - 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age
. His prophetic poetry has been said to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language".
His visual artistry has led one contemporary art critic to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has ever produced".
Although he lived in London his entire life except for three years spent in Felpham
he produced a diverse and symbolically rich corpus, which embraced the imagination as "the body of God",
or "Human existence itself".
Considered mad by contemporaries for his idiosyncratic
views, Blake is held in high regard by later critics for his expressiveness and creativity, and for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work. His paintings and poetry have been characterised as part of both the Romantic movement
for its large appearance in the 18th century. Reverent of the Bible but hostile to the Church of England
- indeed, to all forms of organised religion - Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French
and American revolutions
as well as by such thinkers as Jakob Böhme
and Emanuel Swedenborg
Despite these known influences, the singularity of Blake's work makes him difficult to classify. The 19th-century scholar William Rossetti
characterised Blake as a "glorious luminary,"
and as "a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or readily surmisable successors".