Oriental Excess: Wilde, Yeats, MacNeice

  • Michael McAteerEmail author
Part of the New Directions in Irish and Irish American Literature book series (NDIIAL)


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.


Oriental Arabian India Derrida Supplementarity Mathematical 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English Literatures and Cultures, Institute of English and American StudiesPázmány Péter Catholic UniversityBudapestHungary

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