ОГЛЕДИ И СТУДИЈЕ
THE FATE OF TWO REVOLUTIONARY PROPHECIES: MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT AND WILLIAM BLAKE ON EDMUND BURKE
In my paper, I would like to investigate two forms of criticism directed towards one of the most famous texts of the “founding father” of conservatism, Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France. The one is a critique by an adherent of radical enlightenment, the “proto-feminist Mary Wollstonecraft who sees the French “Ancién Regime” and the British system of government of the time both in a negative context and would like to replace them with strict political rationality and “pure reason.” The other critique, William Blake sees the French Revolution not as an act of political rationalism but as a spiritual renewal and interprets it not as a tabula rasa but as a return from an already too rationalist to a free and just state of existence. I investigate Wollstonecraft’s essay Vindication of the Rights of Men and Blake’s poem The French Revolution. In conclusion, I try to find the answer why the two aforementioned authors, (as the majority of Burke’s initial critics) lost their enthusiasm about the revolution, within the context of the Jacobin dictatorship and the birth of anti-revolutionary political conservatism defended and justified by Burke.
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