Remaking song and self: W. B. Yeats’s approach to remediation in 1908

170px-William_Butler_Yeats_by_John_Singer_Sargent_1908[1]Enrico Reggiani (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan)

In his activities as a poet, playwright, cultural entrepreneur and militant intellectual, W. B. Yeats did not refuse to be involved with the remediation dynamics and its manifold phenomenology that characterised the Ireland of his days. His late nineteenth-century approach to remediation showed distinctly literary (i.e. word- and text-centred) and aural-oriented characteristics, which should be seen as a personalized experience inspired by the coeval Yeatsian “literary philosophy”of “a return to the subjective”; such features as these make Yeats’s early approach to remediation (in the late nineteenth century) totally incompatible withJay D. Bolter and Richard Grusin’s digital and visual-oriented remediation. In the first decade of the twentieth century, however, he imparted an unequivocal route variation to his approach to remediation as a “return to the subjective”, since “around 1907 [he] reversed the nineteenth-century idea that a man finds his identity through self-realization, through being true to himself” and the correlated “idea – that a man seeks his opposite – became the foundation for Yeats’s theory of identity” (Langbaum 1977: 148). In order to programmatically textualize such “reversal”, in 1908 he wrote a paratextual iambic aabb tetrameter quatrain, which was included as an exergue to the second volume of his collected writings in eight volumes and is detailedly investigated in this paper.

Friday, June 13, paper presented atUniParma-Logo[1]


Remediating, Rescripting, Remaking: Old and New Challenges in English Studies
Dipartimento di Antichistica, Lingue, Educazione, Filosofia (A.L.E.F.) Area di Lingue e Letterature Straniere
Viale San Michele, 9 – 43121 Parma
12-14 September 2013


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