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30:4, Reviews bibliography. The Index is not complete. Spilka, although mentioned at least twice, is not indexed. But despite these caveats, this is a fine collection of important essays which will be helpful to teachers and students alike and which I hope wiU become available in a relatively inexpensive paperback. Daniel R. Schwarz Cornell University YEATS AND HATE Joseph M. Hassett. Yeats and the Poetics of Hate. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986. $27.50 This is an extremely fine book that tackles directly a problem that has troubled many of Yeats's most sympathetic readers, that is, the savagery and hatred that appear now centrally now marginally in his work. At times, Yeats's obsession with hate seems an outgrowth of his involvement in the troubled national life of Ireland, his conflict with the Catholic mercantile class; at times it seems merely an element in his self-definition, declaring what he is not in order to establish what he is. Frequently he decries hate that grows from commitment to abstraction rather than to experience. And frequently he himself hates others on principle. His hatred of the modem world motivates much of his work, so that a poem like "The Second Coming" that took its origins in his fear and hatred of the growing muderousness of the world has been taken to indicate his celebration of the rough beast that actually made him shudder with fear and, yes, hate. Hassett constructs a good case for the idea that Yeats's poetic could not exist if Yeats had not exercised hatred, accepted it as necessary and justified, and gone on from that hard gained certitude to a positive definition of his motives . Yeats hated Locke, and he hated his own father insofar as he accepted the rational empiricism of nineteenth-century science, which in tum was based on Locke's denial of any reality not based on physical data. His allies were Swift, Berkeley, the Irish Ascendancy of the eighteenth century, and the antiLockean remonstrations of Blake. I deliberately said above that Hassett "constructs a good case," for his legal training and practice grant him the procedures that allow him to carry his arguments through to their end. This is a positive virtue in a critic who is following out one of the inescapable unpleasantnesses of a poet whom he greatly admires. Hassett manages to treat Yeats's relations with his father in a way that clarifies that vexed area of Yeats's nature and growth, for Yeats certainly had in his father not only an opposition to overcome but a set of faüings to avoid, so that while J. B. Yeats far too frequently lacked the will to complete any work, W. B. Yeats left almost no uncompleted poems behind him. The only point that is lacking in Hassett's treatment of the relations between father and son is the fact that once the son had, through hatred of what his father 473 30:4, Reviews represented, established his own identity, he was able to help through compassionate love his feckless and self-indulgent parent, so that he supported his father by giving manuscripts over to John Quinn who then arranged for the housing and care of J. B. Yeats. His father was a trial to Yeats and an embarrassment that he accepted. The point that I am making is that Yeats's hatred and rage were frequently and even usually pre-poetic. By following them to the ultimate, he then became free to Uve and create. At his best, his life and art were beyond hatred because he had literally gone through hatred. I am only sUghtly qualifying Hassett's argument. To Hassett, Yeatsian hate is "... a force of enormous power, the articulation of which was often, but not always, its purgation." The only trouble that I have with this necessarily general statement is that the term "articulation" need not refer to a poetic structure. One of the poems Hassett cites as treating the problem is "A Prayer for My Daughter," and it does not seem to me that Yeats's belief that when "all hatred [is] driven hence" the soul will recover "radical innocence" is...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 473-475
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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