A Critical Edition of Yeats' A Vision
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A Critical Edition of Yeats' A Vision

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  169 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Aged 51, Yeats proposed to 24 year old George Hyde-Lees (1892–68) in 9/16. They wed on 10/20/16. The marriage was successful, with two children, Anne & Michael. Later he may've had affairs, yet she wrote him: "When you are dead, people will talk about your love affairs, but I shall say nothing, for I will remember how proud you were."
Yeats & George practiced autom...more
Hardcover, 440 pages
Published December 7th 1978 by Palgrave Schol, Print UK (first published 1925)
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I don't know what to categorize this book as. This book is Yeats' synthesis of the 'automatic writings' and nocturnal speaking (talking while she was asleep, by spirits) from his wife. The spirits described to him an overly elaborate system of the universe which is a mix of the Kaballah and 17th and 18th attempts at all encompassing history, with more than a healthy dose of astrology thrown in. Yeats expounds this theory of the world and the development of civilizations and individuals in a mann...more
Joseph Nicolello
I strongly recommend reading this on heavy psychedelics, that is, if your tolerance is kaleidoscopic to the point that you can read while hallucinating. I purchased this book when I was a teenager in California traveling after high school for the first time, because like many a good American boy I read the Beats extensively in my late teens. Lucien Carr, who killed Dave Kammerer with a Boy Scout knife, as a young football-playing John Kerouac went to the slammer over as well. On Carr, they found...more
Trevor Jones
I read this and have no idea why. I finished it and had absolutely no clue as to what he was talking about. I'm not sure what I was expecting it other than I was reading a semi-obscure work by a very famous poet who was partly famous for his interest in the occult. Even "occult" here is a stretch of a term for what Yeats might be talking, and the only thing left to say after finishing it was that it all has something to do with "gyres".

If you like gyres, you will LOVE A Vision by W.B. Yeats.
This book will spin you into a vortex of wild imaginings and gyre you around a philosophical hurdy-gurdy like no other book you will ever have read, enjoy.
Nov 27, 2007 courtney rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of victorian spiritualism
this is pretty heady stuff. interesting, i think, more because of its source -- WBY, a highly regarded literary figure and statesman. i mostly only read the introduction because i was less interested in the information communicated than by the process of the communion.
Meridith Allison
Vortexes, gyres, and visions. It's esoteric, yes, but a must-read if you're a fan of his later work. Get high and check it out.
Erik Graff
Jul 12, 2012 Erik Graff rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yeats fans
Recommended to Erik by: Michael Miley
Shelves: poetry
Liking the poems and Michael Miley's inspired renditions of them, being interested in the occult milieu shared by W.B. Yeats and C.G. Jung, I picked up A Vision with considerable interest. I was not impressed. This may be an essential study for scholars wanting a full understanding of the poetry and the poet, but it was beyond me. Indeed, I was disappointed by the poet's credulity and uncritical appropriation of such material. A review read years later suggested that Yeats and his young wife may...more
At one level, it seems to be an eclectic attempt to fuse Hegelian metaphysics, astrology, neoplatonism and of course Yeats's own poetry. A few books of comparable abstruseness get written every decade or so. But the book is strangely effective, in a way that most other books in the "esoterica" category aren't. Doubtless this is due in large part to the author's own profound poetic sense. The overall effect is a book that moves over the border between philosophy and poetry as few other books can.
Laura Fiorelli
Well it's certainly interesting I guess. Poetic, sure. But it is also sloppy, a bit nonsensical, and the definition of esoteric. I recommend reading this with Helen Vendler's book for clarity.
Daniel Pino
another must read,
a book, like its author, timeless
coming from the true master of poetry and literature in the English language
Yeats is the biggest dog on the block
yeats constructs confusing astrological systems and a weird mystical philosophy out of his wife's "automatic writings" and unconscious speech. creepy stuff.
Mike Lynch
Strange and awkward: not an easy read but worthwhile if you're curious about 20th C modernism and the occult.
Mitta Xinindlu
I'm almost finished. I think I'm in love with this guy
Weird, weird, weird, even by my standards
Liked this book less for the content itself and more for the insight it gives you into Yeats' poetry, especially his later, more Eastern-inspired stuff. Yeats was very much a genius, but also a bit of a whackjob.
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William Butler Yeats (pronounced /ˈjeɪts/) was an Irish poet and dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years Yeats served as an Irish Senator for two terms. He was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival, and along with Lady Gregory and Edward Martyn founded the Abbey Theatre, se...more
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