High Talk: The Philosophical Poetry of W. B. Yeats

High Talk: The Philosophical Poetry of W. B. Yeats

by Robert Snukal, Snukal Robert

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Overview

It is often thought that for Yeats ideas were simply pegs on which to hang poetry: philosophers supplied him with images or attitudes, but he was basically a dilettante. Snukal takes Yeats' most ambitious philosophical poems, and situates them in the British romantic tradition inaugurated by Coleridge's and Wordworth's theories of the imagination, and the European philosophical tradition of idealism inaugurated by Kant and Hegel. Both traditions are concerned with the nature of reality, our mode of perceiving it, and the relationship between perception, thought, action, language and artistic form. They are also concerned with the individuals' freedom of will in the historical process, so that ethical considerations are involved as well as aesthetic ones. Yeats' preoccupations are thus profoundly serious, and lead naturally to a mode of expression in which the poet finds symbols and myths which express the individuals' perceptions and his situation in the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521134637
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/28/2010
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Borrowings; 2. Towards a reading of the poems: beginnings; 3. Symbol and symbolism; 4. Art, history and the phenomenal world; 5. Freedom and necessity; 6. History as necessity; 7. 'Among School Children'; 8. Conclusions; Appendices; Index; Acknowledgements.

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