Yeats has been deregulated. All over the world (with the exception of the United States, where copyright will protect the currently licensed editions for another twenty-three years) the ending of copyright has spurred people to think of how Yeats’s texts might either be edited in an authoritative manner, or be used to suit readers’ perceived needs. Even a well-known Irish distiller used “The trees are in their autumn beauty” to disparage Scotch (and Burns) on the London Underground, but it was just before the ending of copyright in 1989, and a sharp-eyed publisher earned the Yeats estate a windfall. Suddenly there are the coffee-table anthologies by Benedict Keily (Yeats’s Ireland, London: Aurum, 1989) and others, which use the text to sell Ireland for the Bord Failte. If they incidentally introduce the poet to a new readership, that is also good. Such books might even be subsidised. “I will apply for a grant now, a grant from the EEC”, some of these publishers seem to be saying, with their soft-focus colour plates ready to lure the tourists to Yeats Country, “For a killing is to be made from Yeats, now that the text is free”.
KeywordsLondon Underground Section Title York Time Book Review Sacred Book Collect Edition
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