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The Cambridge Companion to W. B. Yeats (Cambridge Companions to Literature) Paperback – 25 May 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (25 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521658861
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521658867
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 161,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Book Description

First-time readers of Yeats as well as more advanced scholars will welcome this comprehensive account of Yeats's career with its useful chronological outline and survey of the most important trends in Yeats scholarship as an essential introduction for students and teachers of Yeats.

About the Author

Marjorie Howes is Associate Professor of English and Irish Studies at Boston College.

John Kelly is Professor of English at the University of Oxford.


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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yeats' written output over almost 50 years was immense, spread over poetry, drama, prose writing, and critical essays. I assume I'm not the only one unwilling to read everything, so the Cambridge series is pretty handy in filling in the gaps. The first four chapters here address the poetry exclusively, covering the transition from Yeats' ornate Decadence of the 1890's to his more muscular presence at the turn of the century and the arch-Modernist persona of 1917 onwards.
Yeats & the Romantic recognises his debt to Shelley and Blake (their interest in the esoteric and symbolic being pivotal), and Yeats' re-categorisation of the Romantic from a concern of Wordsworth, Keats, et al, to a broader sensibility he saw himself in tune with. No doubt Yeats would have agreed with Wallace Stevens that, "poetry is essentially romantic."
Yeats, Victorianism & the 1890's illustrates how the poet developed an aesthetic to counter the stuffy Victorian discursiveness common to poetry of the time. The Irish Renaissance, he said, was full of energy but needed to be re-assessed, needed an aesthetic to counter its overtly political, propagandist obsession. George Watson shows how, in The Hosting of the Sidhe, Yeats manages to introduce such an apocalyptic aesthetic whilst utilising traditional Irish characters, "a host as far as it is possible to be from the domesticated denizens at the bottom of English gardens."
Yeats & Modernism describes his almost schizophrenic relationship with the movement. Whilst accusing modern vocabularies of objectifying cultural references, Yeats himself used the same Surrealist techniques as Andre Breton (admittedly under a different name and guise) to write his séance-inspired A Vision.
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Excellent. Just what I was looking for
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