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The Last Minstrels

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The Last Minstrels

Yeats and the Revival of the Bardic Arts

Format

Hardback

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The Last Minstrels by Ronald Schuchard
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Description

Recovering a lost literary movement that was the most consuming preoccupation of W. B. Yeats's literary life and the most integral to his poetry and drama, Ronald Schuchard's The Last Minstrels provides an historical, biographical, and critical reconstruction of the poet's lifelong attempt to restore an oral tradition by reviving the bardic arts of chanting and musical speech. From the beginning of his career Yeats was determined to return the 'living voice' of the poet from exile to the centre of culture - on its platforms, stages, and streets - thereby establishing a spiritual democracy in the arts for the non-reading as well as the reading public. Schuchard's study enhances our understanding of Yeats's cultural nationalism, his aims for the Abbey Theatre, and his dynamic place in a complex of interrelated arts in London and Dublin. With a wealth of new archival materials, the narrative intervenes in literary history to show the attempts of Yeats and Florence Farr to take the 'new art' of chanting to Great Britain, America, and Europe, and it reveals for the first time the influence of their auditory poetics on the visual paradigm of the Imagists. The penultimate chapter examines the adjustments Yeats made for his movement during the war, including chanting and other adaptations from Noh drama for his dance plays and choruses, until the practice of his 'unfashionable art' became dormant in the 1920s before the restless rise of realism. The final chapter resurrects his heroic effort in the 1930s to reunite poetry and music and reconstitute his dream of a spiritual democracy through the medium of public broadcasting.

Author Biography

Ronald Schuchard is Goodrich C. White Professor of English at Emory University. He has written widely on modern literature, particularly on W. B. Yeats and T. S. Eliot. He is a former director of the Yeats International Summer School in Sligo and has co-edited three volumes of The Collected Letters of W. B. Yeats (OUP). He has edited Eliot's Clark and Turnball Lectures as The Varieties of Metaphysical Poetry (Faber), and he is author of the award-winning Eliot's Dark Angel (OUP). In 2006 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship to begin editing the multi-volume Complete Prose of T. S. Eliot.
Release date Australia
March 1st, 2008
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Illustrations
26 black-and-white halftones, 8 textual illustrations
Imprint
Oxford University Press
Pages
498
Dimensions
163x242x28
ISBN-13
9780199230006
Product ID
3170508

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