BOOK: Subjectivity and Nationhood in Yeats, Joyce and Beckett
Subjectivity and Nationhood in Yeats, Joyce and Beckett: Nietzschean Constellations
By Matthew Fogarty
Liverpool Studies in Irish Literature
This new publication reconceptualises Friedrich Nietzsche’s position in the intellectual history of modernism and substantively refigures our received ideas regarding his relationship to these Irish modernists. Building on recent developments in new modernist studies, the book demonstrates that Nietzsche is a modernist writer and a modernist philosopher by drawing new parallels between his engagement with established philosophical theories and the aesthetic practices that Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot identified as quintessentially modernist. With specific reference to key Nietzschean philosophemes – eternal recurrence, the Übermensch, transnationalism, cultural paralysis, and ethical perspectivism – it challenges the longstanding assumption that Yeats, who repeatedly acknowledged his admiration for Nietzsche, is the most ‘Nietzschean’ of these Irish modernists.
While showing how both Joyce and Beckett are in many important ways more ‘Nietzschean’ than Yeats, this interdisciplinary study makes a number of significant and timely contributions to the fields of Irish studies and modernist studies.
Matthew Fogarty is an Associate Lecturer at Maynooth University and University College Dublin. He has published articles in the Irish Gothic Journal, International Yeats Studies, Modern Drama, and the Journal of Academic Writing. His latest article is forthcoming in the James Joyce Quarterly. His co-edited collection, Ethical Crossroads in Literary Modernism, is forthcoming with Clemson University Press.