Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sligo. LITERATURE. Poet W. B. Yeats, Maude Gonne - Notebook, National Library, Dublin

William Butler Yeats and Maude Gonne
Sligo: the Town, and the County
.
Yeats, 1865-1939, poet, playwright. teller of tales, philosopher, spent most of his time between Sligo, Dublin, and London. See biography at http://www.online-literature.com/yeats/.  He is still at the forefront of events, this time as a lookback at his work and relationships.
.
  • Yeats'  lesser known work, "At the Hawk's Well,", and its evolution into different cultural expressions; and
.
  •  a personal relationship.
.
Meet the poet, W. B. Yeats, for William Butler Yeats, and "beautiful, brainy feminist Irish revolutionary and object of Yeats' infatuation across five decades...." 
.
He is buried at Sligo.
.
......................................................................
.
a.  A lesser known work of Yeats:  "At The Hawk's Well", see this 1918 one-act play, a hybrid of Japanese Noh and other forms, including Celtic myth, see http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/40284/At-the-Hawks-Well and the review of its interpretation with dance by Garrett Fisher, at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/22/arts/music/22fisher.html. Cuchulain comes upon a man who spent half a century at a well seeking its immortality, but the waters are guarded by a guardian, a hawklike woman. Find a 1902 Cuchulain by Lady Gregory, also part of Yeats' circle, at http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cuch/
.
This particular event cannot be traced to Cuchulain, see google book, Tumult of Images, Essays on WB Yeats and Politics, p.79, ed. Liebregts and Van De Camp. But there are allusions to other legends, easily crossed over .It may be an initiatory rite.

Dry well, leaves, allude, allude.
.
Pursue the Noh influence on Yeats, Apparently it was Ezra Pound who introduced Yeats to the Noh form. Yeats then portrayed a part of the Cuchulain saga, mythical Irish hero, using the strict stylistic and formal movements of Noh. Cuchulain: Cuh-hool-in, with a gutteral "h", see http://adminstaff.vassar.edu/sttaylor/Cooley/pronunciation.html
.
.
b. Complex personal life.
.
The relationship Yeats wanted with Maude Gonne of Sligo (she did not reciprocate in the same way, see http://www.answers.com/topic/william-butler-yeats) lives on. Even after Ms. Gonne's husband died, she turned down his proposal, he proposed to her daughter and was also turned down, and then married Miss George Hyde-Less, http://www.notablebiographies.com/We-Z/Yeats-William-Butler.html; or Hyde Lees. Life, complexities, how can you keep from reading.
.
Recent: July 20, 2008.
.
See http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/20/arts/design/20dwye.html?scp=1&sq=July%2020,%202008%20Yeats&st=cse#.  New York Times article,  "Yeats Meets the Digital Age, Full of Passionate Intensity." 
.
Gonne had given him a particular white notebook in 1908. Yeats kept entries of their mystical-type (apparently not focused on bedding) relationship, interests in the "occult" and each as to the other. The exhibit is a large one, this notebook of Yeats' only a small part. And there are some 38 yards of shelving with notes and papers. Time to go back
.
 See also article regarding his uncommon marriage, there listed to Georgie Hyde Lees (this by way of update) see http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/weekend/2011/0319/1224292565841.html. She was 24, he was 52.
.
As to Maud Gonne, read of the visions, reported to the other, desire, letters taped into it as well, it is on display at the National Library in Dublin - a single page displayed, pristine, and the rest digitally reproduced so the viewer can tap through.
.
There was a similar display at the Louvre a few years ago, with Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks - a room of computers around the periphery of the dark room, and people exploring and so quiet. Perhaps the Library in Dublin has set a similar reverential place for the muse.
.
We read that there are intimate spaces for film viewing, tapes of readers aloud.

Yeats - A man of many aspects:
  • spoke against the ban on divorce,
  • was a member of Irish Senate, noting that many of Ireland's greatest were Protestant.
Again, back to Maude Gonne - he wrote a play for her to act as lead, "The Countess Kathleen," but Gonne would not take part. There are many twists to her life.  It is a pity that her large house at Coole is gone, the plae is now a park.


.

No comments: