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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: 28 March 2017

“Timeless and Spaceless”?—Yeats’s Search for Models of Interpretation in Post–Enlightenment Philosophy, Contemporary Anthropology and Art History, and the Effects of These Theories on “The Completed Symbol,” “The Soul in Judgment” and “The Great Year of the Ancients”

“Timeless and Spaceless”?—Yeats’s Search for Models of Interpretation in Post–Enlightenment Philosophy, Contemporary Anthropology and Art History, and the Effects of These Theories on “The Completed Symbol,” “The Soul in Judgment” and “The Great Year of the Ancients”

Chapter:
(p.103) “Timeless and Spaceless”?—Yeats’s Search for Models of Interpretation in Post–Enlightenment Philosophy, Contemporary Anthropology and Art History, and the Effects of These Theories on “The Completed Symbol,” “The Soul in Judgment” and “The Great Year of the Ancients”
Source:
W. B. Yeats's A Vision
Author(s):

Matthew Gibson

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780983533924.003.0005

This two-part essay employs A Vision’s consistent division between time and space to observe how W. B. Yeats’s reading of philosophy from 1925 onwards shaped his understanding of the ontological basis of the Principles and of the Thirteenth Cone’s achronic nature, and to demonstrate the importance of early anthropology and “civilisation theory” for understanding the different phases of the wheel at its macroscopic level. Beginning with Yeats’s use of Giovanni Gentile and George Berkeley articulate the soul’s growth and perception, the first part then discusses the role of J. W. Dunne and J. M. E. McTaggart in helping Yeats to articulate the Thirteenth Cone as a set of individual, ever-simultaneous “selves.” The second part observes the contributions by the likes of Strzygowski, Schneider, Petrie, and Spengler to Yeats’s depiction of the 26,000-year Magnus Annus, demonstrating that the division between time and space, as aspects of subjective and objective-minded civilisations respectively, is also important at a historical level.

Keywords:   A Vision, Giovanni Gentile, George Berkeley, J W Dunne, J M E McTaggart, Leo Frobenius, W B Yeats, Petrie, Schneider, Magnus Annus

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