BL. W. B. Yeats

77. O’Casey, Sean. Inishfallen, Fare Thee Well. London: Macmillan, 1949.

Includes a valuable first-hand account of the first Dublin performance of At the Hawk’s Well (12), in the drawing room at Yeats’s house on Merrion Square, 23 March 1924 (pp. 289ff.). O’Casey was not impressed: ‘Yeats had read in a big book all about the Noh Plays, had spoken about them to others, and had seized on the idea that he could do in an hour what had taken a thousand years to create. And so with the folding and unfolding of a cloth, music from a zither and a flute, and taps from a drum, Yeats’s idea of a Noh play blossomed for a brief moment, then the artificial petals faded and dropped lonely to the floor, because a Japanese spirit had failed to climb into the soul of a Kelt.’ Similar remarks follow. Reprinted in O’Casey’s Autobiographies, vol. 2 (London: Macmillan, 1963; reprint, 1992).





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