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Yeats, the Irish Literary Revival & the Politics of Print
Yeats, the Irish Literary Revival & the Politics of Print

Our Price:69.00
Authors: Yug Mohit Chaudhry
Publication Year: Hardback 2001
Pages: 292
Size: 234 x 156mm

ISBN: 9781859182604


This book belongs to an emerging practice of reading texts in the contexts for which they were first written. Meanings embedded in a text's historical and bibliographical context of publication and taken for granted by both author and readers are eliminated when the text is republished. Limiting our knowledge to textual reproductions in complete editions or anthologies obscures a text's primary authority, meaning and function and thereby distorts readings of texts, our perspective on Yeats, and even our understanding of important cultural events. It has led to scholarly inaccuracies, anachronisms and false conclusions that have skewed biography (Yeats's Parnellism) as well as cultural and political history (the dating of the Revival). Such unawareness of a text's primary context has also left unearthed the often tacit, sectarian and political motivations of Yeats's work, facilitating thereby a sanitised and international reading of Yeats as the last Romantic. It has prevented a realisation of how texts originally published separately but now in one volume is a way of controlling meaning either by creating new meanings or by silencing older ones.

This book examines the relationship between Yeats, literary nationalism, and the publishing industry of late Victorian Britain and Ireland through the bibliographical and socio-historical context surrounding Yeats and the Revival. It presents evidence suggesting that through ignorance of context scholars have often misunderstood, or, at the very best, not fully understood, the nature of Yeats's politics and his political allegiances. Reinserting Yeats's work into its environment of primary publication can so fundamentally alter our understanding that even time-honoured and canonical texts such as September 1913 and seminal historical events such as the Revival can be seen to have new aspects which contradict commonly accepted views. Such an approach poses radical challenges to dominant interpretations and, unlike excessively theoretical or subjective approaches, is backed up by solidly empirical methods. That almost all of Yeats's work till the turn of the century, and much of the literary output of the Revival were first published in periodicals, makes it imperative for Yeatsians and Irish cultural historians to take cognisance of this context.

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