William Butler Yeats: Index of Commentaries


See link to Criticism on “Major Authors” - as infra
[ On copyright issues, &c., see infra ]

T. S. Eliot: ‘He was one of those few whose history is the history of their own time, who are part of the consciousness of an age which cannot be understood without them.’ (Lecture on Yeats in the Abbey Theatre [1939], quoted in Terence Brown, The Life of W. B. Yeats, 2001, p.378; cited in Brendan T. Mitchell, PG Dip., UU 2009.)

William Empson: ‘He was a man of splendid energy, intelligence, and public spirit, fortunate in having a small country where affairs were almost of manageable size; it would have been beneath him not to take on the spirits too, and he was not defeated there, but one cannot feel they were among his major sucesses.’ (Quoted on Gregory Castle’s Facebook page, June 2014.)

Donald Davie: ‘The English poet-critic Donald Davie, when teaching at Trinity in the 1950s, said: ‘Nothing so surprised me from the first in literary Dublin as the extent to which Yeats is a prophet without honour in his own country … Irish poets, Irish critics, and Irish readers have not yet recognised the logic of Yeats’s poetic development.’ (See Edna Longley, ‘Not Guilty?’, in Dublin Review, Autumn 2004 - online; accessed 24.06.2015).

Seamus Heaney: ‘Yeats was always passionately beating on the wall of the physical world in order to provoke an answer from the other side.’ (‘Joy or Night: Last Things in the Poetry of W. B. Yeats and Philip Larkin’, in Finders Keepers: Selected Prose 1971-2001, London: Faber & Faber, p.319; quoted in Carl Campbell, PG Dip., UU 2009.)

See — ‘Compare and Contrast - W. B. Yeats and James Joyce’s use of aesthete language’ - as attached.
Further notes can be found under Joyce > Commentary > Yeats, and Joyce > Notes Literary Figures > Yeats.

File 1

W. P. Ryan
George Russell
James Joyce
Maud Gonne
Patrick Pearse
St. John Ervine

Francis Bickley
Ezra Pound
T. S. Eliot
James Stephens
W. H. Auden
Forrest Reid
P. S. O’Hegarty
Dominic Daly
Stephen Gwynn
Douglas Goulding
George Moore
Augusta Gregory
J. M. Hone
Edith Somerville
F. R. Leavis
Louis MacNeice
Maurice Headlam
Frank O’Connor

File 2
George Orwell
Seán O’Faoláin
Denis Johnston
Monk Gibbon
Balachandra Rajan
William Empson
Peter Ure
Thomas Kinsella
Denis Donoghue
Donald Davie
Richard Kain
Malcolm Brown
A. N. Jeffares
Donald Torchiana
Virginia Moore
Richard Ellmann

File 3
T. R. Henn
Curtis Bradford
John Berryman
Robert W. Caswell
Phillip Marcus
John P. Frayne
Warwick Gould
Frank Tuohy
Northrop Frye
Patrick Rafroidi
Venetia Newall
James MacFarlane
W. B. Stanford
Patrick Kavanagh
John Montague
Seamus Deane
Hiroshi Suzuki
Joe Hassett
D. George Boyce
Lucy McDiarmid
W. J. McCormack
James W. Flannery
Declan Kiberd
Barbara L. Croft

File 4
E. B. Cullingford
Stephen Putzel
Maeve Good
Joep Leerssen
Conor Cruise O’Brien
Daniel Albright
Ronald Schleifer
William Bonney
Mitsuko Ohno
Robert Welch
David Lloyd
G. J. Watson
Edward Said
Seamus Heaney
Hazard Adams
Marjorie Howes
Richard Allen Cave
Frank Kermode

File 5
R. F. Foster
Malins & Purkis
Gerry Smyth
Terence Brown
Brenda Maddox
Hermione Lee
Rachel V. Billigheimer
Selina Guinness
Fintan O’Toole
Jonathan Allison
Ann Saddlemyer
Peter McDonald
Tony Jordan
Margaret Mills Harper
Aaron Kelly
Mohammed Meimandi
Alistair Cormack

Note: A number of longer commentaries on Yeats by leading critics are held as note-taking extracts in the RICORSO Library, “Criticism > Major Authors” > W. B. Yeats - e.g.,

H. Adams (1995)
D. Albright (1990)
W. Bonney (1991)
R. Billigheimer (1999)
S. Deane (1985)
D. Donoghue (1963)
R. Ellmann (1948)
R. Ellmann (1954)
R. F. Foster (1993)

R. F. Foster (1997)
R. F. Foster (2003)
M. Gibbon (1959)
M. H. Harper (2006)
S. Heaney (1989)
T. R. Henn (1965)
M. Howes (1996)
A. N. Jeffares (1988)
A. Jordan (2000)

R. Kain (1962)
B. Maddox (1999)
L. MacNeice (1941)
J. MacFarlane (1976)
A. Saddlemyer (2002)
R. Schliefer (1991)
M. H. Thuente (1979)

To be sure of locating all the files in this region, go to RICORSO > Major Authors” > index - since links are updated more promptly at that location. The RICORSO password may be needed to access these.

Note: Neil Mann has posted all reviews of A Vision (1925 & 1937) at Yeats Vision - online; accessed 01.05.2015.

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Note: Extracts given here are listed by author and in order of date - i.e., chronologically according to the date of their first intervention. Subsequent interventions by the same are added on directly for the convenience of this compilation. Where longer extended extracts are given, these are presented in successive blocks of convenient length for the browser screen.
In certain instances still longer extracts - i.e., reading notes or whole texts from which these samples are taken - can be accessed in RICORSO Library under various sub-headings by means of a link provided at the end. This will either bring up the text in the current window or lead to the relevant index of the Library.
The ensuing compilation is largely based on the practice of copy-typing while reading the texts in question. Some have been captured electronically, or copied from PDFs to Notepad; others have been supplied by students. As such, the sample given here reflects a curricular view of the secondary literature. It is hoped that they will alert readers to the merits of the texts in question and hence inspire an examination of the books themselves.
If and when the matter can be systematically addressed, authors’ permissions regarding the use of extended and/or full-text versions will be sought - along with a request further contributions and/or commissions contributing to the development of RICORSO.

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