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The Autobiography of William Butler Yeats
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The Autobiography of William Butler Yeats

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  149 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Subtitle: Consisting of Reveries over Childhood and Youth; The Trembling of the Veil; and Dramatis Personae.
Paperback, reissue, 416 pages
Published May 31st 1986 by Scribner Paper Fiction (first published 1926)
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Matt
Jan 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Here is why I find this book interesting and valuable: In a prefatory note, Yeats writes, "...I am writing after many years and have consulted neither friend, nor letter, nor old newspaper, and describe what comes oftenest into my memory." This makes for an almost casual structure to the work and is something akin to sitting and listening to Yeats recollect as he pleases and not according to any outline or plan. The ideal reader of the book would be well-read in the history of Ireland in the lat ...more
Patty Nolan
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books you want to chip away at. It's not really an autobiography, but an anthology of autobiographical essays, bits from journals, speeches, etc. That means Yeats assumes that any one reading these pieces will already have a vested interest in and familiarity with his subjects. He refers to contemporary people and political situations that average readers simply won't be familiar with. And his discussions of the various Theosophical initiatives are infused with metaphors and ...more
Tim
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: classics, nonfiction
One of my favorite quotes: "Later I heard him talk of her as a man talk of something he cannot keep silence over because it is in all his thoughts."

I'm positive I read this for some course.
Darin
Mar 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Why don't college professors tell you that Yeats believed in magic when they have you read his poems? Kind of important. Don't ya think?
Ralph
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, poetry
This book is not so much an intended autobiography as it is a collection of autobiographical writings that cover a large portion of the great poet's life. As such, there is some repetition of incidents, but they are individually and collectively instructive as there are nuances revealed about the writer in his reactions and opinions at the stage of life when the comments were penned. The same can be said about the friends, acquaintances and family members mentioned in the writings. An evolutiona ...more
Aaron Meyer
Jan 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography
Mr. Yeats definitely lived in some interesting times. It's probably a good thing to know something about Ireland from that time to better appreciate the book but one can still enjoy it for what it is. My only wish was that he would of talked more about his involvement with the Golden Dawn. He touched on meeting Mathers and being involved with him and some of his own experiments but that's it.
Lee Ann
Aug 23, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Er... well, this is awkward. I love Yeats's Celtic Twilight. I love his poetry. I love his collections of Irish folklore. I haven't tried reading his plays yet. I thought I would give his autobiography a chance. I made it some 50 or 55 pages in before finally giving up. Sorry, Yeats, but your childhood really wasn't all that exciting...
Steven Hernacki
Oct 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


an excellent collection of work to cobble together to make an autobiography. worth reading just for the journal extracts 2/3 of the way in.
Alina
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love this poet
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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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