MYTHOLOGIES by W. B. Yeats

MYTHOLOGIES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Celtic fondness of finding truth not in fact but in beauty is never so clearly manifest as in the works of William Butler Yeats. In this collection which consists of Irish myths, concisely retold by the author and of mystical-aesthetic speculations hinging on Rosacrucianism, Spiritualism, and occult Oriental studies, the reader is provided both with a clue to the mythology of Yeat's works and to the workings of the poet's mind, a mind which wove a gossamer web from out of the rough world of everyday Ireland and the fantastic universe of wild eyed fairies. Striving constantly for lack of sophistication, Yeats, himself, exposes a highly sophisticated mind, one which shifts at will from level to level of reality, taking as his companions such heterogeneous man as Aristotle, Hanrahan, and Dawson. In his retelling of the traditional Celtic stories (to which the bulk of this book is dedicated) Yeats demonstrates his prodigious ability to use an unembellished prose diction to the highest poetic effect, a talent which not only marks him as a uniquely gifted poet, but which has had a profound influence on the entire world of modern poetry. Despite a chronic tendency to mystify, the speculations of which the latter part of this collection are composed should provide a key to the work, the goals and the world of Yeats, ""that dolphin torn, that gong tormented sea"". A volume of essays to follow.

Pub Date: July 14th, 1959
ISBN: 1169777074
Publisher: Macmillan