States of Desire: Wilde, Yeats, Joyce, and the Irish Experiment

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$113.63
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $31.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 75%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (7) from $31.00   
  • New (3) from $117.77   
  • Used (4) from $31.00   

Overview

This book is an intimate study of the three giants in Irish literary history: Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, and James Joyce. In addition to constructing a narrative of Irelands political and literary past, Vicki Mahaffey interweaves the lives and writing of the authors into a portrait of national imagination, shaped not only by a vast cultural and mythic heritage, but also by the hard fact of English political domination.

States of Desire argues that what people desire is fundamentally connected to how they write and read. Not only do language and narrative shape desire (and vice versa), but because these processes are socially conditioned, some political circumstances, such as those present in Ireland at the turn of the century, foster experimental desire more successfully than others. Mahaffey's contribution to the critical discourse on literary modernism is to assign a political motive to the art of modernist wordplay; in doing so, she offers a more compelling and socially driven version of the oft-told tale of literary modernism. Irish writers, she argues, sought to disrupt the rigidity of political thinking and social control by turning language into a weapon; by opening up infinite new possibilities of meaning and association, linguistic play makes it impossible for thought to be monopolized by the state or any other institutional power. In this light, the text becomes a prism of political, cultural, and erotic desires: a fountain of conscious and unconscious linguistic suggestion. Defying semantic control and refuting societal repression, Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce literally fought, in their lives and in their work, for a freedom of expression which—as was painfully evidenced in the case of Wilde—was not to be had for the asking.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195115925
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/28/1998
  • Edition description: ON DEMAND
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
1 Introduction: Reading and "Irish" Desire 3
Reading as "Habit" 7
Starting Again: Experimental Reading and Desiring 8
Verbal Experimentation in Ireland 9
Iconoclasm as De-siring 13
A Micropolitics of Experiment 19
Fretting Nationalism and Masculinity 21
Beyond Radicalism 24
Oedipal Desire 27
Territorializing and Deterritorializing Desire 31
2 Wilde's Desire: A Study in Green 37
A Scary Wildman, or Nothing Wilde? 41
Flowers of Green: Ireland, Crime, and Youth 50
Mature Individualism 65
De Profundis: Taming Wilde 70
Pere-version and Im-mere-sion: Parental Corruption 73
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and the Prohibition of Desire 76
Wilde Im-mere-sions of Desire 81
3 "Horrible Splendour of Desire": The Will of W. B. Yeats 87
Hanrahan's Passion: Hunt as Flight 92
"It Was the Dream Itself Enchanted Me" 96
The Rose 101
Celtic Rosicrucianism 108
A Woman's Rose 112
The Secret Rose 121
The Wind Among the Reeds 124
The Tower and The Winding Stair 132
4 Joyful Desire: Giacomo Joyce and Finnegans Wake 142
Joyce's War on Status 146
Giacomo Joyce: Joyce and Wunderlich 150
Fascism and Silence: The Coded History of Amalia Popper 167
From Italy to Ireland: The Ambivalence of Men toward Men 177
Female Desire and Power in Finnegans Wake 183
Marriage as "Marrage" 193
"Male and Female Unmask We Hem" 198
Waking Desire 205
5 Conclusion 210
Notes 213
Selected Bibliography 253
Index 261
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)