Gaiman’s Jerusalem on Radio Four extends Blake’s poem

Radio Four‘s Blake season carried on yesterday with a great story from Neil Gaiman, read by Alexander Morton (its only on the Net for seven days annoyingly), called Jerusalem. [Here’s an online copy of the original.]

The story is a fine view of the way in which the city affects people.  An Israeli writer, I think it may have been Amos Oz but I’d be happy to be corrected, was talking about his work on a documentary several years ago and commented that Israel was a city choked with prayers – which is the way I’ve thought of it for years having been there on several occasions. It does affect people in a totally different way to any other city I know and Gaiman plays on this so well when his charactes fall under the city’s spell and believe that they have come to a metaphysical home, the sort of which Blake was desperately trying to get his readers to envision in their own lands. This story is well worth a listen.

To that end, Terry Eagleton has a short apprecation of the poet as radical on the Guardian this morning which makes for good reading.
This afternoon’s story is by David Almond, author of Skellig (Amazon) and My Dad’s a Birdman (Amazon).

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