BL. W. B. Yeats: Secondary Materials

60. ‘Are You in the nô? The Symbolic Drama of Japan, Ages Old, Mystic, Aristocratic, Has Made Fashionable London Its Own’. Vogue, 1 July 1916, p. 69.

Describes the nô in terms obviously indebted to Yeats and Pound—it is ‘a drama of the aristocracy’, ‘ghostly’ in ‘psychology’, and never played before a ‘crowd’ (see especially BK17b and BL11)—and reveals the degree to which At the Hawk’s Well (12) was believed to be not an adaptation but a transplantation of the form: the play is ‘structurally . . . true to the nô tradition’; Yeats ‘has done a memorable thing’ in ‘bringing it from Yeddo [Edo] to Mayfair’, and the audience in the drawing-room performances—including the Queen, ‘attended by princesses, duchesses, and other personnages décoratifs’—witnessed ‘the first performance of a nô play outside of Japan’. Includes description of the second performance and reference to Dulac’s masks and costumes, Itô’s (Ap) dancing, and the ‘informative material [see BK21]  . . . being made accessible by Mr. Ezra Pound . . . scholar, poet, and close confrère of Mr. Yeats in the nô movement’.





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