The Critical Thought of W. B. Yeats

  • Wit Pietrzak

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-x
  2. Wit Pietrzak
    Pages 1-5
  3. Wit Pietrzak
    Pages 7-34
  4. Wit Pietrzak
    Pages 79-115
  5. Wit Pietrzak
    Pages 141-162
  6. Wit Pietrzak
    Pages 163-211
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 239-258

About this book


This book focuses on W. B. Yeats’s critical writings, an aspect of his oeuvre which has been given limited treatment so far. It traces his critical work from his earliest articles, through to his occult treatises, and all the way to his last pamphlets, in which he sought to delineate the idea of a literary culture: a community of people willing to credit poetry with the central role in imagining and organising social praxis throughout society. The chapters of this study investigate the contexts in which Yeats’s thought developed, his many disputes over the shape of Irish cultural politics, the future of poetry and the place literature occupies in the world. What transpires is an image of Yeats who is strung between the impulses of faith in the existence of a supernatural order and ironic scepticism as to the possibility of ever capturing that order in language.

This study is distinguished by its grounding of Yeats's critical agenda in a broader context through textual analysis. In addition, it organises and systematises his conceptions of poetry and its social role through its approach to his criticism as a fully-fledged area of his artistic practice.


Faith Irony Ireland Poetry Drama

Authors and affiliations

  • Wit Pietrzak
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ŁódźŁódźPoland

Bibliographic information