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Envisioning Ireland

W. B. Yeats’s Occult Nationalism

Series:

Claire Nally

Although W. B. Yeats is one of the most over-theorised authors in the Irish canon, little attempt has been made to situate his occult works in the political context of early twentieth-century Ireland. By evaluating the two versions of A Vision, published in 1925 and 1937, this book provides a methodology for understanding the political and cultural impulses that informed Yeats’s engagement with the otherworld. The author suggests that the Yeatsian occult operates very firmly within the political parameters of Irish nationalism, often as a critique of the new Free State, or as an alternative way of mythologising and inaugurating a new nation state. The occult, far from being free of all political considerations, registers the poet’s shifting allegiances, from the Celticism of the 1890s to his disenchantment with modern Ireland in the Free State.
Through close readings of Yeats’s manuscripts and his primary and critical works, including a close assessment of the frequently neglected dramatic texts, the author seeks to force a rethinking of the critical reception of the Yeatsian occult through contemporary theoretical developments in postcolonialism, subjectivity, national identity and textual instability.

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Index 305

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Index Abbey Theatre 169, 174–80 Adorno, Theodor 223, 237–8, 240, 246, 260 Africanus, Leo 9, 136–55, 160, 164–8 Aherne, Owen 25, 42–8, 51, 82, 159, 198–9, 247 Anglo-Irish 2–11, 16–17, 20–2, 26–9, 31–6, 38, 40–8, 51–63, 76–9, 82–4, 88, 92, 94, 96, 100–1, 109–15, 126, 165–8, 210, 268, 273–4 Anglo-Norman 34, 81–2 Anima Mundi see collective unconscious antinomies 271 antithetical (occult theory) 32, 51, 74–5, 149–50, 162–4, 216–18, 248, 270 see also primary anti-Semitism 223, 227 Artisson, Robert 256 ascendancy 3–4, 10, 31–6, 40, 45, 115, 131–2, 213, 268 Asia 158–9, 163–4, 182 Automatic Script 1, 3, 69–71, 82–3, 96, 137, 142, 197 automatic writing 1–2, 119–20, 129–30 Avatar 253–60 Barnacle Goose 108–10 Bakhtin, Mikhail M. 4, 11, 35–7, 73, 75 see also dialogism; hybridisation Berkeley, George 5, 41, 82 Besant, Anne 224 Bhabha, Homi 38, 124 see also hybridity birds (occult symbolism) 110 Blake, William 12 Blueshirts 225, 240, 247, 252, 261–7, 270 ‘Body of Fate’ (occult theory) 149, 195 see also ‘Creative Mind’ boundary situations ( Jaspers) 68 Bricriu 198–200 see also Yeats, W. B.: works, The Only Jealousy of Emer Burke, Edmund 5, 41, 82 Cabbala 243–44 Caesarism 252 Cambrensis, Giraldus (Gerald of Wales) 8, 16–17, 81–3, 85–91, 94–9, 101–9, 116–27 Topographia...

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