YEATS

Yeats, with his grand style, his "artifice of eternity," his "singing masters" (Blake and Shelley and the ancient bards), his heroic soul "fastened to a dying animal," has always seemed the sort of superman the modern age either must instinctively distrust or deliriously admire. Full of contradictions, a youthful admirer of Madame Blavatsky, a towering, austere, passionate mythmaker, a crosspatch metaphysician (see A Vision), his poems, nevertheless, are generally regarded as the major ones of our century. While not actually dissenting from this evaluation, Harold Bloom does ask us to turn a very cold eye indeed, not only upon Yeats the man, as does the usual left-wing critic with his proto-fascist labeling, but, more decisively, on Yeats the poet, so we may better understand what the glorious rhetoric's all about. "The Higher Criticism of Yeats, when it is more fully developed, will have to engage the radical issue of his subjectivity, particularly as it is expressed in his myth of the antithetical man." Yeats' dialogues of self and soul which suggest monologues, his phases of the moon and Gnostic wheel-turnings, his frequently insupportable images of History or Unity of Being, often seem, to Professor Bloom, solipsistic, or worse: a poet "does not cease to be a sentimentalist and rhetorician merely by declaring himself to be the possessor of a vision of reality, and there is much self-deception in Meditations." These are fighting words, but Bloom's a brilliant scholar. His argument, though perhaps built on rationalist or unimaginative premises, will clearly, as Bloom no doubt intended, cause a stir among the Yeats factions here and elsewhere.

Pub Date: April 30, 1970

ISBN: 0195016033

Page Count: 518

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1970

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THE WEIGHT OF GLORY

The name of C.S. Lewis will no doubt attract many readers to this volume, for he has won a splendid reputation by his brilliant writing. These sermons, however, are so abstruse, so involved and so dull that few of those who pick up the volume will finish it. There is none of the satire of the Screw Tape Letters, none of the practicality of some of his later radio addresses, none of the directness of some of his earlier theological books.

Pub Date: June 15, 1949

ISBN: 0060653205

Page Count: 212

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1949

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REFLECTIONS ON THE PSALMS

Internationally renowned because of his earlier books, among them tape Letters, Surprised by Joy, Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis making religion provoking, memorable and delightful is still more latest Reflections on the Psalms. Though he protests that he writes learned about things in which he is unlearned himself, the reader is likely thank God for his wise ignorance. Here especially he throws a clear lightly or not, on many of the difficult psalms, such as those which abound with and cursing, and a self-centeredness which seems to assume' that God must be side of the psalmist. These things, which make some psalm singers pre not there, have a right and proper place, as Mr. Lewis shows us. They of Psalms more precious still. Many readers owe it to themselves to read flections if only to learn this hard but simple lesson. Urge everyone to book.

Pub Date: June 15, 1958

ISBN: 015676248X

Page Count: 166

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1958

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