Early and Late: Yeats and Orientalism
A Public Talk by Dr. Joseph Lennon
Chester Beatty Library, Dublin Castle
This talk will contrast WB Yeats’ early fascination with Asian cultures, particularly Japan and India, with his later Asian-inspired works.
Yeats’ early Celticism had Orientalist influences, most notably his Irish Noh dramas. His later work often referenced Asian religious and artistic traditions; he long admired what he saw as “changeless” in Japanese and other Asian cultures, Only an aching heart / Conceives a changeless work of art (Meditations in a Time of Civil War). Despite changes across the world, he hoped Ireland could integrate tradition into modernity and sectarian conflict into unity, with the East as a model.
With free admission and described by the Lonely Planet as “not just the best museum in Ireland, but one of the best in Europe”, the Chester Beatty Library is a must-see on any Dublin visitor’s itinerary. As the only museum in Ireland to win ‘European Museum of the Year’ and rated at number 2 in TripAdvisor’s list of recommended Dublin cultural attractions, the library’s rich collections from countries across Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and Europe open a window on the artistic treasures of the great cultures and religions of the world.
Joseph Lennon is the Director of Irish Studies and Associate Professor of English at Villanova University. His book, Irish Orientalism: A Literary and Intellectual History won the American Conference for Irish Studies’ Donald Murphy Prize. Salmon Poetry published his first volume of poetry, Fell Hunger, in 2011. He has published in periodicals such as The Times Literary Supplement, New Hibernia Review and Poetry Ireland.
Booking Details: Admission FREE