Essays and Introductions

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Jun 1, 1961
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Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
Literary Criticism / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Literary Criticism / General
Literary Criticism / Modern / 19th Century
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The Collected Works of W. B. Yeats, Volume II: The Plays is part of a fourteen-volume series under the general editorship of eminent Yeats scholars Richard J. Finneran and George Mills Harper. This complete edition includes virtually all of the Nobel laureate's published work, in authoritative texts and with extensive explanatory notes.

The Plays, edited by David R. Clark and Rosalind E. Clark, is the first-ever complete collection of Yeats's plays that honors the order in which the plays first appeared. It provides the latest and most accurate texts in Yeats's lifetime, as well as extensive editorial notes and emendations.

Though best known as one of the most important poets of the twentieth century, from the beginning of his career William Butler Yeats understood the value of his plays and his poetry to be the same. In 1923, when he accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature, Yeats suggested that "perhaps the English committees would never have sent you my name if I had written no plays...if my lyric poetry had not a quality of speech practiced on the stage." Indeed, Yeats's great achievement in poetry should not be allowed to obscure his impressive and innovative accomplishments as a dramatist.

In The Plays, David and Rosalind Clark have restored the plays to the final order in which Yeats planned for them to be published. This volume opens with Yeats's introduction for an unpublished Scribner collection and encompasses all of his dramatic work, from The Countess Cathleen to The Death of Cuchulain.

The Plays enables readers to see clearly, for the first time, the ways in which Yeats's very different dramatic forms evolved over the course of his life, and to appreciate fully the importance of drama in the oeuvre of this greatest of modern poets.
The Collected Works of W. B. Yeats, Volume III: Autobiographies is part of the fourteen-volume series overseen by eminent Yeats scholars Richard J. Finnerah and George Mills Harper. The series includes virtually all of the Nobel laureate's published work, with authoritative and explanatory notes.
Autobiographies consists of six autobiographical works -- Reveries Over Childhood and Youth, The Trembling of the Veil, Dramatis Personae, Estrangement, The Death of Synge, and The Bounty of Sweden -- that William Butler Yeats published together in the mid-1930s to form a single, extraordinary memoir of the first fifty-eight years of his life, from his earliest memories of childhood to winning the Nobel Prize for Literature. This volume provides a vivid series of personal accounts of a wide range of figures, and it describes Yeats's work as poet and playwright, as a founder of Dublin's famed Abbey Theatre, his involvement with Irish nationalism, and his fascination with occultism and visions. This book is most compelling as Yeats's own account of the growth of his poetic imagination. Yeats thought that a poet leads a life of allegory, and that his works are comments upon it. Autobiographies enacts his ruling belief in the connections and coherence between the life that he led and the works that he wrote. It is a vision of personal history as art, and so it is the one truly essential companion to his poems and plays.
Edited by William H. O'Donnell and Douglas N. Archibald, this volume is available for the first time with invaluable explanatory notes and includes previously unpublished passages from candidly explicit first drafts.
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