Celticism, Aestheticism and Nationalism

W. B. Yeats

in Ethnicity and Cultural Authority

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780748622054
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651993 | DOI:
Celticism, Aestheticism and Nationalism

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This chapter discusses the relationship between culture and ethnicity within W. B. Yeats's idea of ‘the Celt’. It is primarily focused on the 1890s and the early 1900s, and considers the role of Yeats's Celticism within the political and cultural debates of that period. The chapter presents an account of Celticism that uses an approach which looks at the complicated interrelationships between culture and ethnicity within the four nations of the British Isles. It determines that Yeats's Celticism has its aesthetic bases in Arnold's Celtic essays and in London literary corruption, while its political roots are in the Irish nationalist tradition and in a Ruskinian anti-industrialism.

Keywords: Celticism; W. B. Yeats; the Celt; political debates; cultural debates; British Isles; Celtic essays; literary corruption; nationalist tradition; anti-industrialism

Chapter.  22418 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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