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Autobiographies (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics S.)

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; New e. edition (29 Jan. 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140180001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140180008
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,228,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Autobiographies consists of six autobiographical works that William Butler Yeats published together in the mid-1930s to form a single, extraordinary memoir of the first fifty-eight years of his life, from his earliest memories of childhood to winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. This volume provides a vivid series of personal accounts of a wide range of figures, and it describes Yeats's work as poet and playwright, as a founder of Dublin's famed Abbey Theatre, his involvement with Irish nationalism, and his fascination with occultism and visions. This book is most compelling as Yeats's own account of the growth of his poetic imagination. Yeats thought that a poet leads a life of allegory, and that his works are comments upon it. Autobiographies enacts his ruling belief in the connections and coherence between the life that he led and the works that he wrote. It is a vision of personal history as art, and so it is the one truly essential companion to his poems and plays.

Edited by William H. O'Donnell and Douglas N. Archibald, this volume is available for the first time with invaluable explanatory notes and includes previously unpublished passages from candidly explicit first drafts. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

William H. O'Donnell, professor of English at the University of Memphis, is the author of A Guide to the Prose Fiction of W. B. Yeats and The Poetry of William Butler Yeats: An Introduction. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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By A Customer on 30 Sept. 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is a well-edited text, and has excellent explanatory notes for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. Often dark, sometimes comical, this is one's of Ireland's greatest writers expressing how the events in his life have shaped him. However, remember Yeats' ego (however justified it was) and do not accept this as absolute historical validity. A must for any student of the Irish revival.
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Format: Paperback
This new, standard edition is the first to provide explanatory notes. The text has been rigorously checked against earlier editions and manuscripts. The index usefully includes both the text and the notes. (I am editor of the book.)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This new, standard edition is the first to provide notes. 1 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This new, standard edition is the first to provide explanatory notes. The text has been rigorously checked against earlier editions and manuscripts. The index usefully includes both the text and the notes. (I am editor of the book.)
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joy to read and marvellous background 25 Jan. 2001
By A Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The more I have learnt about Yeats and his life the more approachable and enjoyable I have found his poetry.
I bought this book for a close friend and fellow lover of Yeats poetry and read it after she did. Yeats writes about his life and philosophy with the same skill and breadth he brings to his poetry. I found the notes added for this edition both useful and interesting. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Yeats, his philosophy, life and poetry.
8 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The great poet as a disappointing person and thinker 24 Oct. 2004
By Shalom Freedman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Yeats is without doubt one of the great English language poets of the twentieth century . His greatest poems and lines are in the hearts and minds of most lovers of poetry. How disappointing then to feel that the person is in many ways so mediocre in both his thought and his personal relationships. The whole business of automatic writing is one part of it. But also the whole search for some kind of mythic system smacks of superstition, and perhaps makes Yeats suitable for an age where the 'New Age' sections of bookstores are far larger than the Religion of Philosophy sections.

As a person Yeats seems a somewhat remote husband and distant relative even to his closest family members. This autobiography has no great moving intellectual center, no ideas which truly make sense in understanding our world . " Things fall apart the center does not hold, " the great lines which describe our condition are unfortunately not complemented by a true and deep understanding of the human situation.
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