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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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Yeats’s Vision and the Feminine

Yeats’s Vision and the Feminine

(p.291) Yeats’s Vision and the Feminine
W. B. Yeats's A Vision

Janis Haswell

Liverpool University Press

Mapping Yeats’s view of gender in A Vision requires extensive groundwork. The essay first considers how W. B. Yeats valorizes the feminine in relation to the divine, believes masculine and feminine complementary, and posits a contrasexual Daimon, “the woman in me.” It looks at the erosion of the symbol system’s gender features as Yeats moves from the collaborative automatic script and A Vision A to the more philosophic A Vision B. The essay then examines two elements linked to the myth of Leda: “Stories of Michael Robartes and His Friends” and “Leda and the Swan.” It is important to understand Yeats’s complex view of the feminine without circumscribing gender or falsifying Yeats’s enactment of it in the symbol system. The self, for Yeats, is the result of continuous choices; gender provides the dynamic that frames those choices and reflects the two great dimensions of human life: concord and discord.

Keywords:   automatic script, A Vision, daimon, feminine, the woman in me, Leda, masculine, W B Yeats

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