Words Alone: Yeats and his Inheritances (Hardback)
  • Words Alone: Yeats and his Inheritances (Hardback)
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Words Alone: Yeats and his Inheritances (Hardback)

(author)
£19.99
Hardback 258 Pages
Published: 28/04/2011

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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, the poetry 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 movements in 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.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199592166
Number of pages: 258
Weight: 363 g
Dimensions: 204 x 137 x 22 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Foster is a historian in the way that Joyce was a novelist - Nicholas Allen, Irish Times,

A brilliant re-examination of W.B. Yeat's place in literature and history - Robert Gerwarth, Irish Times Books of the Year 2011

Sparkling - Helen Vendler, New Republic

A superbly original analysis of what his nineteenth-century Irish inheritance meant to Yeats. - Colm Toibin, Irish Times Books of the Year 2011

this richly atmospheric book both complicates and enhances our view of history and Yeats's place in it. By the simple virtue of its own excellence, it deserves a wide readership. - Adam O'Riordian, The Independent

[Foster's] Yeatsian backward look proves irresistible. - Times Literary SupplementClair Wills, Times Literary Supplement

Great achievement. - Irish Times

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