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Yeats is a poet as much of fact as of feeling. Every work of his has a source--whether from folklore, legend, mythology, the occult, or history: each a source that for him had a definite objective reality. The demands of this world and of that other world of Yeatsian spiritual reality often conflict. His verse play The Only Jealousy of Emer, particularly in its early draft Yeats is a poet as much of fact as of feeling. Every work of his has a source--whether from folklore, legend, mythology, the occult, or history: each a source that for him had a definite objective reality. The demands of this world and of that other world of Yeatsian spiritual reality often conflict. His verse play The Only Jealousy of Emer, particularly in its early drafts, offers a vivid portrayal of such a struggle. Premiering in 1922 in Amsterdam and first staged in Ireland at the Abbey Theatre in 1926, it marked one of the turning points of Yeats's career, because in its final form it is a synthesis of two profound experiences that were to shape his later work: his marriage to Georgie Hyde-Lees in 1917 brought him a certain degree of contentment with the joys of this world, while her automatic script provided a philosophical framework for his poems and plays. Fighting the Waves--a prose version of The Only Jealousy of Emer staged at the Abbey Theatre in 1929 and revived in London in 1930, but never performed again--is an integral part of the history of Yeats's composition and revision of The Only Jealousy of Emer, and its manuscript drafts are therefore included in this volume as part of the direct sequence of the composition of The Only Jealousy of Emer, even though Yeats himself ultimately considered Fighting the Waves a lesser work.


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Yeats is a poet as much of fact as of feeling. Every work of his has a source--whether from folklore, legend, mythology, the occult, or history: each a source that for him had a definite objective reality. The demands of this world and of that other world of Yeatsian spiritual reality often conflict. His verse play The Only Jealousy of Emer, particularly in its early draft Yeats is a poet as much of fact as of feeling. Every work of his has a source--whether from folklore, legend, mythology, the occult, or history: each a source that for him had a definite objective reality. The demands of this world and of that other world of Yeatsian spiritual reality often conflict. His verse play The Only Jealousy of Emer, particularly in its early drafts, offers a vivid portrayal of such a struggle. Premiering in 1922 in Amsterdam and first staged in Ireland at the Abbey Theatre in 1926, it marked one of the turning points of Yeats's career, because in its final form it is a synthesis of two profound experiences that were to shape his later work: his marriage to Georgie Hyde-Lees in 1917 brought him a certain degree of contentment with the joys of this world, while her automatic script provided a philosophical framework for his poems and plays. Fighting the Waves--a prose version of The Only Jealousy of Emer staged at the Abbey Theatre in 1929 and revived in London in 1930, but never performed again--is an integral part of the history of Yeats's composition and revision of The Only Jealousy of Emer, and its manuscript drafts are therefore included in this volume as part of the direct sequence of the composition of The Only Jealousy of Emer, even though Yeats himself ultimately considered Fighting the Waves a lesser work.

2 review for The Only Jealousy of Emer and Fighting the Waves: Manuscript Materials

  1. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I read this in a book of Yeats's Collected Plays. Since I didn't read this edition, I haven't read the prose version "Fighting the Waves" which is in the edition that's listed on GoodReads. This the second play of his I've read (besides The Countess Cathleen). I really liked this, it's beautifully written. It dramatizes one of the stories from the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology. (The best known translation is probably the one in Lady Gregory's Cuchulain of Muirthemne: The Story of the Men of th I read this in a book of Yeats's Collected Plays. Since I didn't read this edition, I haven't read the prose version "Fighting the Waves" which is in the edition that's listed on GoodReads. This the second play of his I've read (besides The Countess Cathleen). I really liked this, it's beautifully written. It dramatizes one of the stories from the Ulster Cycle of Irish mythology. (The best known translation is probably the one in Lady Gregory's Cuchulain of Muirthemne: The Story of the Men of the Red Branch of Ulster, which I read years ago. The Irish hero Cuchulain is enchanted by Fand, (one of his lovers) the wife of the sea god Manannán mac Lir, and his wife has to break the enchantment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emer#Em...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bryn

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