Book of Sol(s): a Productive Mistake

I would love to say that this was the result of hard work, but actually it was a reading mistake.

I was looking at the Blake archive and going through his works (again):

  • Book of Thel
  • Marriage of Heaven and Hell
  • Book of Souls…Book of Los

My brain had scrambled the letters in favour of the respective album (2015); but this actually makes a lot of sense. First of all it would explain why Bruce Dickinson pointed out that Los = Sol spelled backwards (autobiography, 269). I had been thinking of the Spanish word for “sun” when I read it and couldn’t make head or tails of it. A definite red herring. “Sol” just sounds like “soul”. As he further aligns Los with the “creative soul” and Urizen with logic (269), Los would be the so(u)l and Urizen the (U)reason (but, in this case, you must pronounce the name as it is heard in the spoken part of “Book of Thel” (The Chemical Wedding, 1998) and not as heard in the song “Gates of Urizen” (The Chemical Wedding, 1998)). So, if Los is the so(u)l, it is indeed a short walk from the “Book of Los” to the “Book of Soul(s)”.

I am not going as far as saying the title song (“The Book of Souls”, 2015), which is based on Mayan culture, refers to Blake. But the album title, when seen in the light of the mentioned comment, looks suspiciously Blakean. Probably that mistake was not a mistake at all. At least I could finally solve the mystery about “el sol”.

Sources

  • Blake Archive: http://www.blakearchive.org/ (2017) [10/01/18]
  • Iron Maiden, The Book of Souls. Parlophone, 2015.
  • Dickinson, Bruce. What Does This Button Do: an Autobiography. London: Harper Collins, 2018.
  • Dickinson, Bruce, Z, Roy and Eddie Casillas. “Book of Thel”. Bruce Dickinson, The Chemical Wedding. Sanctuary, 1998.
  • Dickinson, Bruce and Roy Z, “Gates of Urizen”. Dickinson, Bruce, The Chemical Wedding. Sanctuary, 1998.
  • Gers, Janick and Adrian Smith. “The Book of Souls”. Iron Maiden, The Book of Souls, Parlophone, 2015.
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