Words Alone W B Yeats & Irish Liter 19th

20.39

Yeats is usually seen as a great modernist innovator. This book goes against the grain to explore the Irish literary traditions that preceded and influenced him-romantic ‘national tales’ in post-Union Ireland, the poetry and polemic of the Young Ireland movement, the occult novels of Sheridan LeFanu, and William Carleton’s ‘peasant fictions’.

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Description

W. B. Yeats is usually seen as a great innovator who put his stamp so decisively on modern Irish literature that most of his successors worked in his shadow. R. F. Foster’s eloquent and authoritative book weaves together literature and history to present an alternative perspective. By returning to the rich seed-bed of nineteenth-century Irish writing, Words Alone charts some of the influences, including romantic ‘national tales’ in post-Union Ireland, thepoetry and polemic of the Young Ireland movement, the occult and supernatural novels of Sheridan LeFanu, William Carleton’s ‘peasant fictions’, and fairy-lore and folktale collectors that created the unique and powerful Yeatsian voice of the decade from 1885 to 1895. As well as placing these literary movementsin a vivid contemporary context of politics, polemic and social tension, Foster discusses recent critical and interpretive approaches to these phenomena. He shows that the use Yeats made of his predecessors during his apprenticeship, and the part that a self-conscious use of Irish literary tradition played in the construction of his path-breaking early work as he attempted to ‘hammer his thoughts into a unity’ made him an inheritor as much as an inventor.

Additional information

Weight 363 g
Dimensions 20.4 × 13.7 × 2.16 cm
Author

Publisher

Imprint

Cover

Hardback

Pages

236

Language

English

Edition
Dewey

821.8 (edition:22)

Readership

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