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Langue de l'enseignement : Anglais

Niveau de l'enseignement : C1-Autonome - Utilisateur expérimenté

Description du contenu de l'enseignement

“Revolt into style: W.B. Yeats’s visionary poetics of politics”

W. B. Yeats once wrote that “the self-conquest of the writer who is not a man of action is style”.Together with Joyce, he made modern Irish literature possible by reviving and reinventing the Irish literary tradition. His commitment to a poetry of symbol was his attempt to revolutionize Irish perception and sensibilities by repudiating realism, democracy and modernization.
This seminar will present an intensive study of Yeats's poetry as a poetry of decolonization. We will chart the key shifts in the construction of Yeats’s personal mythology as “modern Irish” poet, ranging from the fin de siècle “celtic twilight” period to the more questionable modernism that marks the later works.
We shall first look at the informing ideas and ideologies of the Irish Literary Revival: cultural nationalism, romanticism, the cult of heroism, the importance of Irish folklore and mythology and the idealism of promoting an ancient Gaelic polity and worldview. Our readings of Yeats’s middle period will focus on his conception of the relationship of violence to history, with particular emphasis on the interaction among the divine, the human, and the bestial. A common denominator throughout is the self-reflexive yeatsian meditation on the role of poetry and poet when confronted with historical (and aesthetic) changes of great magnitude.
Despite the importance of context, the ultimate aim of this course is to practice critical readings of the poems themselves as events of language, and to gain insight into Yeats’s daunting poetic craftsmanship.

Recommended edition:

W.B. Yeats, Selected Poems (1938), Penguin 1991. (Introduction and Notes by Timothy Webb).
Several other editions are available. The “program” of poems selected will be available on Moodle at the ‘rentrée’. A full bibliography will also follow. Students have to regist er before the first class in January at the following Moodle address:


Compétences à acquérir

Familiarity with critical discourses on one or several key texts.


Faculté des langues

22, rue René Descartes

Formulaire de contact


Ciaran Ross

Parcours : Approche interdisciplinaire en science des données