Meeting Without Knowing It: Kipling and Yeats at the Fin de Siecle - Oxford English Monographs (Hardback)
  • Meeting Without Knowing It: Kipling and Yeats at the Fin de Siecle - Oxford English Monographs (Hardback)
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Meeting Without Knowing It: Kipling and Yeats at the Fin de Siecle - Oxford English Monographs (Hardback)

(author)
£72.00
Hardback 290 Pages / Published: 11/02/2016
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Meeting Without Knowing It compares Rudyard Kipling and W.B. Yeats in the formative phase of their careers, from their births in 1865 up to 1903. The argument consists of parallel readings wed to a biographic structure. Reading the two poets in parallel often yields remarkable discursive echoes. For example, both men were similarly preoccupied with the visual arts, with heroism, with folklore, balladry and the demotic voice. Both struck vatic postures, and made bids for public authority premised on an appeal to what they considered the 'mythopoeic' impulse in fin de siecle culture. My methodology consists in identifying these mutual echoes in their poetry and political rhetoric, before charting them against intersections in their lives. Kipling and Yeats were, for much of their careers, irreconcilable political enemies. However, a cross-reading of the two poets' bardic ambitions, heroic tropes and interpretations of history reveals that, to achieve their opposed political ends, they frequently partook of a common discourse. Supplementing this analysis with biographical context, we can trace these shared concerns to their late 19th century artistic upbringing, and to the closely linked social circles which they inhabited in fin de siecle London. It is, in fact, their very mutuality during the 1890s which lent rancour to their ideological division after the Boer War. In turn, acrimony and denunciation only served to bind together all the more intimately, in an argumentative spiral of revolving discourses, two men who were often proximate but who actually met only in cartoons and satirical gossip.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198753872
Number of pages: 290
Weight: 456 g
Dimensions: 223 x 145 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Meeting Without Knowing It is a meticulously phrased and engaging study of Kipling's and Yeats's transitional narratives, which raises questions not only about their reception histories, canonical divisions and patterns of mutual exchange, but also about generic strategies of confronting the fragmentation of metropolitan living with the imagined unity of peripheral homes lost and remembered. * Forum for Modern Language Studies *
It is easy to recommend this painstaking analysis and detailed use of sources in pursuing the 'submerged relationship'. * Jad Adams, Yeats Annual *
Alexander Bubb's innovative handling of the lives and work of Rudyard Kipling and W. B. Yeats looks set to blaze a trail in literary biography. * Kathy Rees, Notes and Queries *
Meeting Without Knowing It is a rich and original study of the cultural nexus that was the fin de siecle. It takes the provocative but productive step of proceeding through an extended comparison of the lives and careers of Rudyard Kipling and W.B. Yeats, from 1865 to 1906. * David Sergeant, Journal of Postcolonial Writing *
a rich and rewarding study of both writers, which succeeds in showing how their affiliations, writings and beliefs reflected and refracted one another. * Jan Montefiore, Times Literary Supplement *
... a concise, ingenious, scholarly, dense, and illuminating double biographical study. * John Batchelor, The Modern Language Review *
Highlighting the underacknowledged yet evidently important dynamic between Yeats and Kipling in their capacities as authors and public figures, this monograph is rich in content and expression, and is a welcome addition to the study of Yeats and Kipling as part of the intricate fabric of fin de siecle cultural production. * Ragini Mohite, International Yeats *

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