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YEATS’S POEMS WRITTEN IN DISCOURAGEMENT, 1912–1913 132 Yeats’s fantasy of an alliance of the aristocracy and the people ranged against the venality and utilitarianism of the middle classes, if it were more than fantasy, might have been realized in 1913, when the aristocrats and artists and Dublin’s proletariat had the common enemy of Murphy and the other employers. Instead, the struggle of the people is repressed in Yeats’s writing, and he celebrates an oppressive aesthetic that depends on privilege. Yet, that repressed history is always, if cryptically, present in the title of “September 1913” and in the context of its Wrst publication, which remind us of the other struggle taking place in Dublin besides the one to establish an art galley. They remind us, too, of Walter Benjamin’s astringent assertion that “There has never been a document of culture which is not at one and the same time a document of barbarism,” and of the paradox that one’s aVection for Yeats’s poems frequently proves to be at odds with what one learns about their genesis.36 —The University of Vermont 36 Walter Benjamin, “Theses on the Philosophy of History,” vii, cited in Jameson, p. 281. COVER The manuscript collections of the National Library of Ireland—comprising some 65,000 catalogued items—are now housed at the former Kildare Street Club. Two works by Giraldus Cambrensis, alias Giraldus de Barri, came into the manuscript collection in 1945: Topographia Hiberniae and Expugnatio Hibernica, both completed by Cambrensis in 1189. The National Library’s transcription on vellum of these works was completed in 1200. This issue’s cover reproduces the portrait of Diarmait Mac Murchada (1110–71), king of Leinster, found in margin of Expugnatio Hibernica. Mac Murchada is best known, of course, for bringing the Normans into Ireland. While Mac Murchada founded three abbeys, he was also embroiled in the rape of the Abbess of Kildare and the abduction of Derbforgaill. We offer this sample of the riches of the National Library’s manuscript collections with the help of the library’s staff and the kind permission of its director, Dr. Patricia Donlon. ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1550-5162
Print ISSN
0013-2683
Pages
p. 132
Launched on MUSE
2017-08-31
Open Access
No
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