BL. W. B. Yeats

98. Wilson, F. A. C. W. B. Yeats and Tradition. 1958. Reprint, London: Methuen, 1968.

Wilson’s influential and controversial study focuses primarily of Yeats’s last five plays, KING OF THE GREAT CLOCK TOWER (36a and 37c), A Full Moon in March (37b), THE HERNE’S EGG (39), DEATH OF CUCHULAIN (44a) and PURGATORY (44b), in an attempt to relate his ‘mature symbols . . . each to its literary or philosophical “source”’, and finds those sources often in the nô (see index). Like most mature criticism of Yeats’s debt to the form, the work finds that his discovery of the nô ‘confirmed [Yeats] in the experiments he had been practicing for years’, but more fully than most critical work applies this ‘confirmation’ to the later plays, and places it firmly in the context of his fully-developed symbology. Includes a section on Byzantium (32a) that finds ‘allusions to the Noh plays’, particularly Motomezuka (see D23). See also 102.





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