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American literature and Irish culture, 1910-55The politics of enchantment$
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Tara Stubbs

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719084331

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719084331.001.0001

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American modernists and the Celtic Revival

American modernists and the Celtic Revival

(p.64) Chapter 2 American modernists and the Celtic Revival
American literature and Irish culture, 1910-55

Tara Stubbs

Manchester University Press

It is easy, particularly within contemporary critical circles, to dismiss Celticism as a fanciful, archaic construction. But for some American modernist writers, the enchantment of Celticism – as conveyed and celebrated by the Revivalists – offered a certain promise despite, or even because of, its unreality. The efforts of W. B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, Douglas Hyde and J. M. Synge from the late 1880s onwards had done much to revive American writers’ interest in Celtic culture – and to establish a Celtic ideal that influenced different social groups. This chapter therefore discusses the cultural interpretation of Celticism that was pervasive in American modernist circles, as writers like Moore, Steinbeck and Stevens became inspired by the folklore and history surrounding the Revival.

Keywords:   Celtic Revival, Celticism, Marianne Moore, John Steinbeck, Wallace Stevens, folklore

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