American modernists and the Celtic Revival

Tara Stubbs

in American literature and Irish culture, 1910-55

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2013 | ISBN: 9780719084331
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781781705841 | DOI:
American modernists and the Celtic Revival

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It is easy, particularly within contemporary critical circles, to dismiss Celticism as a fanciful, archaic construction. But for some American modernist writers, the enchantment of Celticism – as conveyed and celebrated by the Revivalists – offered a certain promise despite, or even because of, its unreality. The efforts of W. B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, Douglas Hyde and J. M. Synge from the late 1880s onwards had done much to revive American writers’ interest in Celtic culture – and to establish a Celtic ideal that influenced different social groups. This chapter therefore discusses the cultural interpretation of Celticism that was pervasive in American modernist circles, as writers like Moore, Steinbeck and Stevens became inspired by the folklore and history surrounding the Revival.

Keywords: Celtic Revival; Celticism; Marianne Moore; John Steinbeck; Wallace Stevens; folklore

Chapter.  14922 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (19th Century)

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