The first book to consider William Butler Yeats’s aesthetic of artistic power, demonstrating the centrality in his work—from his earliest essay to the great poems and plays of his last years—of the concept that art shapes life. Drawing on the Irish bardic tradition as well as such figures as Shelley, Blake, and Wilde, Yeats developed a stance that enabled him to reconcile the exacting demands of literary craftsmanship, his interest in occult thought, and his desire to advance the cause of Irish nationalism. For this edition, new material has been added, connecting the argument of the original book to recent developments in theory and adding a Jungian perspective.
Phillip L. Marcus is professor emeritus of English, Cornell University, and professor of English at Florida International University. His books include Yeats and the Beginning of the Irish Renaissance, also published by Syracuse University Press.