Modernism and Mass Politics: Joyce, Woolf, Eliot, Yeats

By Michael Tratner | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER 5
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Fascist

Gabriele D'Annunzio's Political Influence on fames Joyce

In Ireland, the masses emerging into politics took the form of a nationalist movement seeking home rule. Mass movements did not appear, then, to pose the same threat that we have seen in English writer Wooff and the American writer Eliot. Most of the Irish writers who supported the nationalist movement at the end of the nineteenth century were not driven to modernist forms because the success of the masses did not involve the loss of home and individuality, but rather the release of both from domination by aliens, the British. The turn to modernism in Joyce and Yeats, in contrast, was foreshadowed by their early refusal to accept the dominant forms of nationalist literature. The modernism of these writers, particularly of Joyce, has seemed a result of their rejection of politics altogether. But if we look more closely, we can see that what they were rejecting was only one form of nationalism in favor of another. Yeats complained about the clear rhetoric of the Young Irish movement precisely because such rhetoric implied that the new nation could be understood in already familiar terms and hence would not be much of a change: the Young Irish in his view were middle-class revolutionaries who would merely make Ireland into another bourgeois state. Yeats did eventually join the nationalist movement, but only after the Easter 1916 massacre, when the movement no longer seemed to be seeking to preserve familiar worlds, but rather to be violently breaking through to something new through sacrifice of the self. It was at that same time that Yeats's writing turned toward modernist obscurity.

Joyce never joined any active political movement, so it is more difficult to equate his modernism with any political goals. Even when he wrote

-116-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Modernism and Mass Politics: Joyce, Woolf, Eliot, Yeats
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 288

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?