A Handbook devoted to the poet W.B. Yeats (1865-1939) that examines how his work as a poet, playwright, critic, and public figure in the late nineteenth through the mid-twentieth century continues to influence writing in English, Irish, and worldwide Anglophone literatures.
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The forty-two chapters in this book consider Yeats's early toil, his practical and esoteric concerns as his career developed, his friends and enemies, and how he was and is understood. This Handbook brings together critics and writers who have considered what Yeats wrote and how he wrote, moving between texts and their contexts in ways that will lead the reader through Yeats's multiple selves as poet, playwright, public figure, and mystic.
It assembles a variety of views and adds to a sense of dialogue, the antinomian or deliberately-divided way of thinking that Yeats relished and encouraged. This volume puts that sense of a living dialogue in tune both with the history of criticism on Yeats and also with contemporary critical and ethical debates, not shirking the complexities of Yeats's more uncomfortable political positions or personal life. It provides one basis from which future Yeats scholarship can continue to participate
in the fascination of all the contributors here in the satisfying difficulty of this great writer.