New Publication: The Critical Thought of W. B. Yeats

Wit Pietrzak
The Critical Thought of W. B. Yeats
Palgrave Macmillan

This book focuses on W. B. Yeats’s critical work, from the earliest articles through his occult treatises all the way to the last pamphlets, in which he sought to delineate the idea of a literary culture, a community of people willing to credit poetry with the central role in the process of imagining and organizing the social praxis of the entire society. The subsequent chapters of the book investigate the contexts in which Yeats’s thought developed, his many disputes over the shape of Irish cultural politics, the future of poetry and the place literature occupies in the world. What transpires is an image of Yeats who is strung between the impulses of faith in the existence of a supernatural order and ironic scepticism as to the possibility of ever capturing that order in language.

Wit Pietrzak is assistant professor at University of Łódź, Poland. He is the author of Myth, Language and Tradition: A Study of Yeats, Stevens and Eliot in the Context of Heidegger’s Search for Being (2011) and author of Levity of Design: Man and Modernity in the Poetry of J. H. Prynne.

“This is an important book on Yeats, a new and valuable contribution to the understanding of his work, giving close attention to the full range of the poet’s development of his ideas in his critical essays, and compellingly convincing on the dialectic of faith and irony throughout the corpus.”
Nicholas Grene, Emeritus Professor of English Literature, Trinity College Dublin

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