Symbolism at the Periphery: Yeats, Maeterlinck, and Cultural Nationalism

Symbolism at the Periphery: Yeats, Maeterlinck, and Cultural Nationalism Raphael Ingelbien Modernism has been one of the most contested categories of English literary history. Over the last two decades, reputations have been challenged, ideologies have been questioned, and the very concept of an "English modernism" has given way to views that stress the importance of national contexts in the relation that modernist texts bear to history. It has become increasingly difficult to speak of "English modernism" as though it were a "British" or "Anglo-Saxon" category that includes names which were usually lumped together: Eliot, Joyce, Pound, Woolf, Yeats, etc.1 Irish literature scholars in particular have been keen to reclaim Yeats and Joyce as part of a distinctively Irish version of modernism, sometimes analyzing their works through postcolonial theory.2 The postcolonial challenge and the devolutionary process that affect the canon of English-speaking modernism strike at the very root of what was originally meant by the term: indeed, cosmopolitanism and internationalism were long supposed to be hallmarks of modernism. Those qualities have not been completely discarded, but their nature and scope have been re-examined in the light of modernist writers' involvement in the cultural politics of specific nations. One aspect of modernist internationalism, however, clearly continues to operate unchanged http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Studies Penn State University Press

Symbolism at the Periphery: Yeats, Maeterlinck, and Cultural Nationalism

Comparative Literature Studies, Volume 42 (3) – Mar 27, 2005

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Publisher
Penn State University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 by The Pennsylvania State University.
ISSN
1528-4212
Publisher site
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Abstract

Raphael Ingelbien Modernism has been one of the most contested categories of English literary history. Over the last two decades, reputations have been challenged, ideologies have been questioned, and the very concept of an "English modernism" has given way to views that stress the importance of national contexts in the relation that modernist texts bear to history. It has become increasingly difficult to speak of "English modernism" as though it were a "British" or "Anglo-Saxon" category that includes names which were usually lumped together: Eliot, Joyce, Pound, Woolf, Yeats, etc.1 Irish literature scholars in particular have been keen to reclaim Yeats and Joyce as part of a distinctively Irish version of modernism, sometimes analyzing their works through postcolonial theory.2 The postcolonial challenge and the devolutionary process that affect the canon of English-speaking modernism strike at the very root of what was originally meant by the term: indeed, cosmopolitanism and internationalism were long supposed to be hallmarks of modernism. Those qualities have not been completely discarded, but their nature and scope have been re-examined in the light of modernist writers' involvement in the cultural politics of specific nations. One aspect of modernist internationalism, however, clearly continues to operate unchanged

Journal

Comparative Literature StudiesPenn State University Press

Published: Mar 27, 2005

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