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W. B. Yeats's A VisionExplications and Contexts$
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Neil Mann, Matthew Gibson, and Claire Nally

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780983533924

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780983533924.001.0001

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date: 21 July 2017

The Is and the Ought, the Knower and the Known

The Is and the Ought, the Knower and the Known

An Analysis of the Four Faculties in Yeats’s System

Chapter:
(p.22) The Is and the Ought, the Knower and the Known
Source:
W. B. Yeats's A Vision
Author(s):

Rory Ryan

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780983533924.003.0002

This essay examines the workings of the Four Faculties of W. B. Yeats’s A Vision—Will and Mask (Is and Ought), Creative Mind and Body of Fate (Knower and Known)—through the twenty-eight phases of the moon, with reference to the Vision Papers, A Vision A (1925) and finally A Vision B (1937). It begins with a general description of the Faculties’ movements and the interrelations of “Discords” and “Oppositions,” before defining the nature of the Faculties themselves by reference to the Vision Papers. The essay then describes the roles of the antithetical and primary tinctures in the wheel and cone, the effect on the Faculties, and the complex relations between opposing phases. It exemplifies and applies the rules for discovering the true and false forms of each phase’s Mask and Creative Mind, explicating some of the potential pitfalls facing the reader. Throughout, the essay demonstrates the importance of studying the automatic script for understanding the Faculties.

Keywords:   automatic script, A Vision, phases of the moon, faculties, W. B. Yeats

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