W.B Yeats, Ireland and the Modern World

When:5 Sep 2011, 10am - 11:30am
Venue:Friends Room, Mitchell Building, State Library of New South Wales, Macquarie Street, Sydney
Who:Professor R?_n??n McDonald

“We Irish, born into that ancient sect But thrown upon this filthy modern tide”

W.B. Yeats, The Statues

Yeats’s lines from his late poem The Statues reflects his concern both with Ireland and a tremendous sense of international modernity. Bridging the national and the international, this lecture seeks to discuss some of the major themes in Yeats’ poetry across his career. It looks at how he responds to the intellectual and political crises of his times – including the rise of Darwinism in his youth, his interest in spiritualism and the occult, the varieties of nationalism, the wars and political turmoils in Ireland and Europe in the early twentieth century. This lecture will address the significance of Yeats as both a giant of Irish letters and a major modernist poet.

Rónán McDonald is Australian Ireland Fund Chair in Modern Irish Studies at the University of New South Wales and Director of the John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies. His research interests include: Irish society, culture and politics; modern Irish literature; modernism; literary criticism and theory; ideas of cultural value.

For further information, contact the State Library of New South Wales | Website | Ph 02 9273 1770

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