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Durham University

Department of English Studies

Event Archive

This is an archive of past events within the Department of English Studies. Please see our current events for forthcoming activities.

Some of our public events are recorded and are available as podcasts via our Research English At Durham blog.

Modelling the Self Lecture Series: ''Something Intended, Complete': The Remodelled Self in W. B.Yeats,' by Professor Michael O'Neill

4th December 2007, 18:15 to 19:15, Elvet Riverside 140

This lecture forms part of the Institute of Advanced Study's lecture series: "Modelling the Self: Subjectivity and Identity in Romantic and post-Romantic Thought and Culture"

In 'A General Introduction for My Work' Yeats says that 'A poet writes always of his personal life', but that he is never the 'bundle of accident and incoherence that sits down to breakfast; he has been reborn', Yeats goes on, 'as an idea, something intended, complete'.

The lecture will use these comments as a starting point for a reassessment of of the way Yeats presents the self in his poetry. The lecture will explore the poetry as a form of dramatised self-quarrelling in the light of such Yeatsian remarks as 'Personality, no matter how habitual, is a contantly renewed choice' and his conviction of the need to 'assume the mask of some other self'. In particular, it will look at Yeats's sense of the finished poem as involving both a remaking of the self and as frequently embodying the protests of the self against aesthetic remodelling

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