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  • Publication
    Enlarging Irish hate : the objects and uses of Yeatsian hate
    (University College Dublin, 1984) ;
    William Butler Yeats was extraordinarily vocal and vigorous in articulating hatred as his poetic passion of preference -- so much so that when he dreamed of his goals as a poet, he "dreamed of enlarging Irish hate". This dissertation examines both the objects and uses of Yeatsian hate. Examination of the objects of Yeatsian hate (e.g., the philosophy of John Locke, Victorian science, the materialism of Huxley and Tyndall) reveals what it was they challenged in the poet's thinking, thus shedding light on those aspects of Yeats's thought he guarded most jealously. Study of the way in which Yeats used his hate to penetrate the uncharted depths of his mind provides a new avenue of insight into the creative process. Because the ultimate value of an inquiry into Yeatsian hate must be measured in terms of the extent to which it contributes to understanding and appreciation of the poetry, the dissertation considers ways in which Yeats's preoccupation with hate illuminates particular poems and poetic themes. Among the matters considered are Yeats's cultivation of Swiftian indignation as a source of poetic knowledge and power, his variations on Blake's theme that sexual love is founded on spiritual hate, Gnostic Ribh's belief that "Hatred of God may bring the soul to God", the message of Yeats's "communicators" that the Beatific Vision "comes from being free of Hatred", and Yeats's prayer for himself and his daughter that, "all hatred driven hence," the soul might recover "radical innocence".