The Celtic Twilight
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The Celtic Twilight

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  1,149 ratings  ·  44 reviews
This edition of The Celtic Twilight is based on the expanded 1902 edition, which remains one of the best-known collections of Yeats' prose. Here he explores the longstanding connection between the people of Ireland and the inhabitants of the land of Faery.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published December 26th 2008 by Tark Classic Fiction (first published January 1st 1893)
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Alex
In his youth, Yeats was a member of the Golden Dawn, an occult society; he wrote this book during that time, and it's widely seen as a manifesto about his belief in faeries and magic and such. And it is that - but it's not what you think. When he says
"Let us go forth, the tellers of tales, and seize whatever prey the heart long for, and have no fear. Everything exists, everything is true, and the earth is only a little dust under our feet." (p. 4)
he's saying that he believes in magic, yes, but h...more
Tifany
A definite must-read for anyone interested in fairy tales, especially the Irish sort, as I've never found anything better. Yeats, of course, should be read for his own sake, anyway, and if you want more Yeats, go for MYTHOLOGIES, the version that includes both the Celtic Twilight and Yeats' own retellings, in prose, of Irish epic stories, as well as his own original tales. There's another Yeats collection of traditional tales--Irish Folk and Fairy Stories--that also includes the Celtic Twilight,...more
Rodney
You can have your cones and interpenetrating gyres; for me, the unguarded, soppy Romanticism of The Celtic Twilight, based on the diaries the young Yeats kept as he tromped through Irish village life, is the best guide to the obsessions and occult yearnings that animate his poetry, early & late. The anecdotes and rambling asides capture the poet in his native habitat, head in the clouds and feet in the bog of an Ireland that never quite was, but that he needed to shake off the bluff rational...more
Cwn_annwn_13
Yeats compiled these stories from various Irish hillbillies in the 1890s. I am a lover of all things Celtic as well as a lover of folklore, local legends, ghost stories, faerie lore, etc, but surprisingly I just didn't get sucked into this book like I thought I would.
Perseis
"I have desired, like every artist, to create a little world out of the beautiful, pleasant, and significant things of this marred and clumsy world, and to show in a vision something of the face of Ireland to any of my own people who would look where I bid them"

Being a devoted fan of Yeats as a poet, this not-so-small collection of folk tales was the cherry on top of my hibernophile cake. I had big expectations towards it and this tome delivered wonderfully.

Since then i have also acquired Mytho...more
Emma
Jan 13, 2014 Emma marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: research-faeries
Available to read legally and free on Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/10459
Risa
"Celtic" and "twilight" -- two such pretty words; and when I found them together in a title by W.B. Yeats I simply had to give it a try. When I began reading The Celtic Twilight I was expecting a collection of faerie tales. It proved to be a collection, alright, but it was more a book of articles or scribbles jotted down as and when Yeats got a hold of a story. These stories were mostly reports on what faerie legends and experiences he had gathered from Irish peasants, for the most part. One get...more
Alex Andrasik
Dead brothers springing to life from a witch's green stone; towering Celtic queens visiting the kitchens of humble goodwives; blind singers accessing the height of human expression. This is the timbre of the Irish folktales collected here by the celebrated poet W.B. Yeats.

This book was not what I expected it to be, but that didn't turn out to be a problem. Less poetic history of the decline of Celtic civilization and more rambling fireside reminiscence of all the folklore Yeats picked up while g...more
Judy Croome
Aug 27, 2012 Judy Croome rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: spiritual seekers, mystics,
In THE CELTIC TWILIGHT Yeats, the spiritual mystic and poet, is in ascendance over the Nobel prize winning playwright. He gathers a delightful assortment of old Irish Folktales dealing with the Faerie, and the world beyond the veil of understanding. The stories are told with a casual acceptance of the existence of spiritual truths beyond our rational knowledge, tinged with embarrassment at that acceptance.

Underpinning the beautiful, lyrical writing, lies the melancholy of a gentle race, a mysti...more
Byurakn
A must read for those who are interested in Irish folklore!

And a quote from the end:
In a society that has cast out imaginative tradition, only a few
people--three or four thousand out of millions--favoured by their own
characters and by happy circumstance, and only then after much labour,
have understanding of imaginative things, and yet "the imagination is
the man himself." The churches in the Middle Age won all the arts into
their service because men understood that when imagination is
impoverished...more
Derek Davis
Maybe it really deserves a full five stars, but it could use a little more tightening and underlying coherence -- even if it is one man's idiosyncratic collection of local stories on the faerie people of Ireland. Forget that , though. Yeats' mind walking the ridge between reason and acceptance of the marvelous-unlikely is a wonder to read. He pinpoints the population's strangely accepting outlook on the "other" people of the countryside, who live just beyond visibility and seem to turn up, more...more
Lexi
In a small fashion, Yeats acted for Ireland as the Brothers Grimm did for Germany. Some of the tales Yeats collected are bound in this book, along with some footnotes containing Yeats' observations and similar material.

I highly recommend this book for anyone looking into Irish Faerie beliefs, whether religious or not. There is also a fair amount of cultural information, and quite a few sections on ghosts. Because the book is meant to revolve around Faeries, I felt this detracted from the overal...more
Kathy L. Brown
At the turn of the 19th century, Yeats and friends collected any and all Irish folktales they could find from the rapidly dwindling rural, Gaeilge-speaking population. Celtic Twilight is part poet's journal, ghostbuster's psychic investigation dossier, and part ethnographer's field notes. Yeats presents a the variety of Good People and shades who inhabit the Other Realms. At times, Yeats convincingly reproduces the narrators' voices, at others, the material inspires his own poetry.
But the under...more
Charlie Hyde
This is an excellent collection of folklore, but Yeats' presentation is about so much more. This book does an excellent job of deriding the rationalism and skepticism of his day (and ours). The magical universe is an exciting place, and a place in the modern world needs to be carved out for it.

There are overtones of spirituality throughout most of the tales. The best parts are the events that the writer claims he experienced. These stories would fit right into any book on trances, astral project...more
Rodney
You can have your cones and interpenetrating gyres; for me, the unguarded, soppy Romanticism of The Celtic Twilight, based on the diaries the young Yeats kept as he tromped through Irish village life, is the best guide to the obsessions and occult yearnings that animate his poetry, early & late. The anecdotes and rambling asides capture the poet in his native habitat, head in the clouds and feet in the bog of an Ireland that never quite was, but that he needed to shake off the bluff rational...more
Rodney
You can have your cones and interpenetrating gyres; for me, the unguarded, soppy Romanticism of The Celtic Twilight, based on the diaries the young Yeats kept as he tromped through Irish village life, is the best guide to the obsessions and occult yearnings that animate his poetry, early & late. The anecdotes and rambling asides capture the poet in his native habitat, head in the clouds and feet in the bog of an Ireland that never quite was, but that he needed to shake off the bluff rational...more
Littleboat
Nostalgic fairy tales
Sarah Jane
I didn't expect to like this book, but I ended up really enjoying it. Yeats attempts, not entirely successfully, to objectively document numerous Irish folktales about faeries and magic. Yeats obviously has a deep respect for these stories and people. The book takes a few chapters to get into, but in the end it's definitely worth reading. Nice and short, too.
Lisa
Whatever review of this I have, don't listen. I'm jaded and will give it 5 stars because W.B. Yeats is one of my best friends in my head and his poetry can do no wrong, so I'm going out on a branch to say his prose will be perfection. Yay run-on thought! But really. I have photographs of this man in my house and my office. I am creepy level attached to his writing.
Stephanie
A very good collection of Irish faery tales.
Annie Frame
To say I enjoyed this book is an understatement!Tales from long ago, that some would prefer to be left alone are brought back to life for others to absorb. To many readers it will bring reflection, appreciation and admiration for W.B Yeats who could not and would not run with the herd. I'll be making a point of reading more of his words.
Chris Hall
I almost gave this book only 4 stars, but then I remembered the cultural/ historical context in which Yeat's was writing. This truly remarkable collection of oral accounts of the Irish fairy faith is even more remarkable in light of the fact that Yeats wrote this book during the reason-obsessed dawn of the modern age.
Tatra
This was a fun novel, full of short stories. I really liked the mixture of tales and the voice of the author. While this might not make it to the top 1000 books to read before you die, like many of the books are that I chose for this Alphabet challenge, it's still an awesome read.
Melanie
I'm a big fairy tale/folklore person, but I didn't like this book. Yeats was so condescending towards the Irish that I just couldn't take it. If I hadn't had to read this book for a class, I wouldn't have finished it. But there are some good stories in there.
J. Aleksandr Wootton
Part dream journal, part field notes of primary research by an amateur folklorist, riddled with beautifully poetic phrases and insights on early-twentieth-century Irish rural culture. An interesting read, and available free from The Gutenberg Project.
Thyseldown
The stories told by Yeats were enjoyable to read as well as informative. These stories, told by people living in the not so distant past, describe this world in a way few of us would recognise.
Brent
An interesting piece of prose work from a man known as being a great poet. Yeats' book is full of lyrical insights and odd stories that display his fascination with the mystical and occult.
Kelsey Stewart
As the title suggests - this is ethereal to the max. I highlighted so many quotes out of this one. I loved it. I'm not a huge poetry person, but this one spoke to me.
Jean
I am exploring things about Ireland because my Mom was half Irish, and it sounds so charming! You will enjoy these little stories about happenings there.
Kim Briggs
A short edition of encounters with fairies. A much easier to consume and move on resources than The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries
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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
More about W.B. Yeats...
The Collected Poems Irish Fairy and Folk Tales Selected Poems Poetry, Drama and Prose (A Norton Critical Edition) Selected Poems and Four Plays

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“but one loses, as one grows older, something of the lightness of one's dreams; one begins to take life up in both hands, and to care more for the fruit than the flower, and that is no great loss perhaps.” 29 likes
“What is literature but the expression of moods by the vehicle of symbol and incident? And are there not moods which need heaven, hell, purgatory, and faeryland for their expression, no less than this dilapidated earth? Nay, are there not moods which shall find no expression unless there be men who dare to mix heaven, hell, purgatory, and faeryland together, or even to set the heads of beasts to the bodies of men, or to thrust the souls of men into the heart of rocks? Let us go forth, the tellers of tales, and seize whatever prey the heart long for, and have no fear. Everything exists, everything is true, and the earth is only a little dust under our feet."

(A Teller of Tales)”
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