States of Desire: Wilde, Yeats, Joyce, and the Irish Experiment

States of Desire: Wilde, Yeats, Joyce, and the Irish Experiment

Vicki Mahaffey


This ebook is an intimate examine of the 3 giants in Irish literary background: Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, and James Joyce. as well as developing a story of Irelands political and literary previous, Vicki Mahaffey interweaves the lives and writing of the authors right into a portrait of nationwide mind's eye, formed not just through an unlimited cultural and mythic background, but additionally by means of the difficult truth of English political domination.

States of Desire argues that what humans wish is essentially hooked up to how they write and skim. not just do language and narrative form hope (and vice versa), yet simply because those techniques are socially conditioned, a few political conditions, corresponding to these found in eire on the flip of the century, foster experimental hope extra effectively than others. Mahaffey's contribution to the serious discourse on literary modernism is to assign a political intent to the artwork of modernist wordplay; in doing so, she bargains a extra compelling and socially pushed model of the oft-told story of literary modernism. Irish writers, she argues, sought to disrupt the tension of political pondering and social keep an eye on by means of turning language right into a weapon; by means of commencing up countless new chances of which means and organization, linguistic play makes it most unlikely for regarded as monopolized by means of the country or the other institutional energy. during this mild, the textual content turns into a prism of political, cultural, and erotic wishes: a fountain of wide awake and subconscious linguistic advice. Defying semantic keep an eye on and refuting societal repression, Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce actually fought, of their lives and of their paintings, for a freedom of expression which--as used to be painfully evidenced on the subject of Wilde--was to not be had for the asking.

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