The Number of the Beast

I’ve been very lax about blogging over the summer and it’s now definitely the season “stained with the blood of the grape” (Blake’s ode to Autumn is undeservedly much less well known than Keats’).

 

Summer brought with it a combination of research, holidaying, conferencing and encounters with the Number of the Beast.

 

First was the invention of a new rule for the card game S***head by my fellow PhD-ers Scott Midson, Rosie Edgley and Johannes Lotze relating to three sixes being played in succession (as the rule was not my invention I shall not divulge it here, but it is a pretty beastly rule). The invention came about en route from Manchester to Kent when they came to keep me company house sitting for my parents and the new incarnation of the game (known, unsurprisingly as “The Beast”) kept us amused throughout our sojourn in the Garden of England and has now become a firm favourite among our group of friends.

 

In other news, Blake’s watercolour The Number of the Beast is 666 (c.1805) is relevant in a tangential way to the chapter I am working on at the moment on Christ as the agent of apocalypse. A couple of weeks ago, I was adding some pictures in to some work to send to my supervisors, and as soon as I added in the aforementioned watercolour the file refused to save. After wasting half an afternoon panicking that maybe I should be superstitious after all and battling to save the file, I eventually realised that I had simply run out of space and thus solved the problem by deleting some other files. Now the good people in IT have given me some more storage so hopefully I can avoid such scares in future!

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2 thoughts on “The Number of the Beast

  1. Dylan’s Welsh language contemporary, the Anglican priest and crowned bard, Euros Bowen, distilled the man’s contradictions, drunk on words, drunk on wine:
    He had harvested the poem’s familiar tips
    Till his two lips were red;
    Truth on the grapes till, drunken,
    He fell dead, widowed the wine.
    Harvesting does violence to the vine: is it blood or wine upon his lips? The truth he discovered as a poet was at odds with his seashaken daily life. The widowed wine is the poetry he made, or left unmade, as well as the alcohol that helped unmake him.

  2. Pingback: Laden with Blakean fruit | in tortures of Doubt & Despair

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