W. J. McCormack
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Between Balzac and Yeats
in Dissolute characters
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The apocalypse preoccupied W. B. Yeats not only as an aspect of his theosophical system but also as a metaphor in the political domain. In the late nineteenth century, Yeats was associated with a series of subversive movements in which violent politics, irrationalist philosophy and sexual irregularity overlapped. Like Honore de Balzac with regard to Emanuel Swedenborg, Yeats was perhaps never fully convinced of, or committed to, the doctrines he espoused from time to time. Nevertheless, the name of Aleister Crowley will serve as an adequate shorthand for some of his activities. In the later stage of his career, when Yeats was preoccupied more with the politics of the dead, Le Fanu's Uncle Silas featured in Yeats's early drafts of the play about Jonathan Swift's post-mortem existence.

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Dissolute characters

Irish literary history through Balzac, Sheridan Le Farm, Yeats and Bowen


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