The Civil Defence workers, the gum-booted policemen, the firemen and gasmen, the Salvation Army tea-bearers, the worried clergymen, the young parson distraught in miner's helmet and rescue clothes, these were all, in this tight-knit ant heap
society friends or relatives, or friends of friends, but all blood-kin for this sad purpose.
It's an ant heap
where everyone dumps on the unfortunates beneath them - and success is measured by dollars and feet above sea level.
Microphones let them hear activity inside the ant heap
as well as the creator's heartbeat.
What sets Blake's Hell apart from other great illustrations of Dante--Botticelli's intricate ink drawings, Federico Zuccaro's ant heaps
of the damned, Dore's chiaroscuro caverns, Tom Phillips' post-Pop 'visual commentary'--is not, however, his attentiveness to the text.