Naru's Happy Travel
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.2009.32.101
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원고접수일: 2009년 10월 11일, 수정일: 2009년 11월 19일, 게재확정일: 2009년 12월 4일
George Yeats: Poet's Wife
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Abstract
This paper is an attempt to understand George Yeats: who she was, how she lived, and what kind of relationship she had with the poet W. B. Yeats. Based on the recent biographical and critical studies of Elizabeth Butler Cullingford, Brenda Maddox, Ann Saddlemyer, and Margaret Mills Harper, the present writer tries to show that George Yeats was not only the devoted wife of W. B. Yeats and mother of their two children, but also the poet's literary and spiritual collaborator.
The first introductory part of the paper deals with George Yeats's life until she married W. B. Yeats. Her birth and education, the first meeting with W. B. Yeats, and the establishing of a close relationship which, strengthened by common interest in occultism, led to their marriage in October 1917, are briefly surveyed. The paper then discusses the problem which arose from Yeats's unresolved sexual love for Iseult Gonne, and shows how George Yeats solved it by trying the automatic script at their honeymoon hotel.
The automatic script, which saved George and W. B. Yeats at the critical moment, and dominated the early years of their married life, is mainly discussed in the next part of the paper. The paper first describes how it started, and then discusses the main issues related to it: why George did it, and whether it was "her hoax, a joint self-deception, or daimonic intervention" (Saddlemye xix), and how it affected W. B. Yeats's life and work. In order to see how W. B. Yeats expressed his feeling and thought about the automatic script in his poems, the writer of the paper reads "Solomon to Sheba," "Solomon and the Witch," and "The Gift of Harun Al-Rashid."
The last part of the paper deals with George Yeats's life after the automatic script and the "sleeps" ended in summer 1922. Unlike the exciting and sexually intimate life of early five years, the later long years of her married life were very tiring and "problem-ridden." The paper discusses the major problems she had to face as wife of the great poet and mother of two children, and describes how she "lived through it with self-possession, with generosity, with something like nobility" (Elllmann xxviii).


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