Oriental Excess: Wilde, Yeats, MacNeice
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This chapter addresses Oriental aspects of excess in Irish writing with reference to works by Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats and Louis MacNeice, taking Joseph Lennon’s idea of Irish Orientalism into account. Michael McAteer discusses Wilde’s play Salomé in terms of Edward Said’s argument for the figuring of the Orient as excess within the discourse of Orientalism. Turning to excess in Yeats’s 1923 poem, ‘The Gift of Harun Al-Rashid’, McAteer examines its Orientalist aspect in relation to Derrida’s concept of the supplement and numerical excess in Badiou’s mathematical set theory account of being. From this McAteer consider excess as it appears in two poems by Louis MacNeice that were composed during his time in India in 1947.