BL. W. B. Yeats

7. ‘The Abbey Theatre—Its Aims and Works’. Program note. Abbey Theatre, Dublin. 8 September 1908.

  Reprinted in Uncollected Prose, vol. 2.  

Marks Yeats’s earliest direct association of his own dramatic aims with the theatre of Japan (though see also 48c): ‘When we wish to give a remote poetical effect we throw away realism altogether, and are content with suggestion; this is the idea of the Japanese in their dramatic art; they believe that artificial objects, the interior let us say of some modern house, should be perfectly copied, because a perfect copy is possible; but that when you get to sea and sky you should only suggest, and when they wish to suggest a sea they are content to put before you merely a pattern of waves’. Yeats had put this insight into practice in the earliest productions of Deirdre (5), where much of the action takes place in a room sparsely but realistically represented, but the landscape of trees visible in setting sun through the windows was made of patterns and shadows and light. Presented first as a speech preceding a special program at the Abbey, which included Yeats’s play The Hour Glass, 4 September 1908. Yeats repeats and expands the point in 9. Reprinted in 55.





Home | Top | Previous | Next

Previous | Next


Creative Commons License