Writings on Irish Folklore Legends and Myths

Overview

Through his researches into Irish folklore, legend and myth, Yeats was attempting to discover a specifically Irish imagination and to create a movement in literature enriched by, and rooted in, a vital native tradition. This collection brings together all of Yeats's published prose writings on the subject, and for the first time these essays, introductions and sketches are presented chronologically, enabling the reader to perceive how Yeats's analysis develops, embracing ideas and visions of increasing ...
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Overview

Through his researches into Irish folklore, legend and myth, Yeats was attempting to discover a specifically Irish imagination and to create a movement in literature enriched by, and rooted in, a vital native tradition. This collection brings together all of Yeats's published prose writings on the subject, and for the first time these essays, introductions and sketches are presented chronologically, enabling the reader to perceive how Yeats's analysis develops, embracing ideas and visions of increasing psychological and philosophical complexity.
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Editorial Reviews

New Yorker
Dublin burned, British troops and Irish separatists exchanged gunfire and artillery shells, and about two hundred and thirty civilians were killed during Easter week in Ireland in 1916. As Tim Pat Coogan writes in 1916: The Easter Rising, the rebel leader James Connolly, injured and confined to the Irish Volunteer headquarters after a few days of bloody fighting, passed the time reading a detective novel. During a rare quiet moment, Connolly dryly remarked, "A book like this, plenty of rest and an insurrection -- all at the same time. This certainly is revolution de luxe." Out in the streets, his militia battled to take the city, fighting with a bravery that has been repeatedly eulogized since. Within a week, the group was forced to surrender, and, like most of the leaders of the rebellion, Connolly himself was executed.

Into this turbulent landscape Jamie O'Neill casts the heroes of his historical novel, At Swim, Two Boys, whose title is a play on the title of Flann O'Brien's landmark Irish comic novel At Swim-Two-Birds. This story takes place in the year leading up to the Easter Rising and investigates the complicated weave of alliances in Ireland; the two Dublin boys struggle not only with their political affiliations but with their religious and sexual identities.

W. B. Yeats spoke to Ireland's scars of strife, famously noting in "Easter, 1916" that, after the Rising, "All changed, changed utterly: / A terrible beauty is born." A new volume of Yeats's essays, Writings on Irish Folklore, Legend and Myth, examines ancient tales of the land -- an Ireland bewitched by "sociable fairies," the banshee, and the medieval warrior Cuchulain. In fables, Yeats writes, mortals are transformed into "perfect symbols of the sorrow and beauty and of the magnificence and penury of dreams.'' (Lauren Porcaro)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140180015
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/26/2002
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements xi
A Textual and Editorial Note xiii
Abbreviations xvii
Introduction xix
1 Introduction to Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry (1888) 1
2 'The Irish Fairies' from Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry (1888) 8
3 'Irish Fairies, Ghosts, Witches' from Lucifer (1889) 19
4 'Scots and Irish Fairies' from the Scots Observer (1889) 26
5 'Irish Wonders' from the Scots Observer (1889) 30
6 'Village Ghosts' from the Scots Observer (1889) 34
7 'Kidnappers' from the Scots Observer (1889) 39
8 'Columkille and Rosses' from the Scots Observer (1889) 44
9 'Bardic Ireland' from the Scots Observer (1890) 50
10 'Tales from the Twilight' from the Scots Observer (1890) 55
11 'Irish Fairies' from the Leisure Hour (1890) 60
12 'Invoking the Irish Fairies' from the Irish Theosophist (1890) 65
13 'Irish Folk Tales' from the National Observer (1891) 68
14 'An Irish Visionary' from the National Observer (1891) 73
15 'An Irish Storyteller', the introduction to Irish Fairy Tales (1892) 77
16 'The Last Gleeman' from the National Observer (1893) 80
17 'A Literary Causerie' from the Speaker (1893) 86
18 'Old Gaelic Love Songs' from the Bookman (1893) 91
19 'An Impression' from the Speaker (1893) 95
20 'Our Lady of the Hills' from the Speaker (1893) 98
21 'Michael Clancy, the Great Dhoul, and Death' from the Old Country (1893) 100
22 Preface to the Celtic Twilight from United Ireland (1893) 108
23 'A Teller of Tales' from The Celtic Twilight (1893) 109
24 'Belief and Unbelief' from The Celtic Twilight (1893) 111
25 'The Sorcerers' from The Celtic Twilight (1893) 113
26 'Regina, Regina Pigmeorum, Veni' from The Celtic Twilight (1893) 117
27 'The Untiring Ones' from The Celtic Twilight (1893) 120
28 'The Man and His Boots' from The Celtic Twilight (1893) 123
29 'A Coward' from The Celtic Twilight (1893) 124
30 'The Three O'Byrnes and the Evil Faeries' from The Celtic Twilight (1893) 125
31 'The Thick Skull of the Fortunate' from The Celtic Twilight (1893) 127
32 'The Religion of A Sailor' from The Celtic Twilight (1893) 129
33 'Concerning the Nearness Together of Heaven, Earth, and Purgatory' from The Celtic Twilight (1893) 131
34 'The Eaters of Precious Stones' from The Celtic Twilight (1893) 132
35 'The Golden Age' from The Celtic Twilight (1893) 133
36 'The Evangel of Folk-Lore' from the Bookman (1894) 135
37 'The Tribes of Danu' from the New Review (1897) 138
38 'The Prisoners of the Gods' from the Nineteenth Century (1898) 155
39 'The Broken Gates of Death' from the Fortnightly Review (1898) 172
40 'The Celtic Element in Literature' from Cosmopolis (1898) 189
41 'Celtic Beliefs About the Soul' from the Bookman (1898) 201
42 'The Academic Class and the Agrarian Revolution' from the Daily Express (1899) 203
43 'A Note on "The Hosting of the Sidhe"' from The Wind Among the Reeds (1899) 208
44 'A Note on "The Host of the Air"' from The Wind Among the Reeds (1899) 212
45 'A Note on "The Valley of the Black Pig"' from The Wind Among the Reeds (1899) 216
46 'Ireland Bewitched' from the Contemporary Review (1899) 219
47 'Dust Hath Closed Helen's Eye' from the Dome (1899) 240
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