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Extensive Limit and Intensive Infiniteness of Language in Yeats's Later Poetry Abstract

Park Soo Jeong


Symbolism is central in Yeats’s work. His symbols can be thought of as manysided crystals, which “grow from solutions of traditions, from the dissolved thoughtsof many minds”(Henn 146). They are the context of meaning, allowing for multipleinterpretations and variations within themselves. Yeats believes the perceiveddifference between the language of poetry and that of ordinary speech to bearbitrary, arguing, “we should write out our thoughts in as nearly as possible thelanguage we thought them in.” After 1900 Yeats’s style changed radically as heworked toward simplicity, reducing the use of adjectives, and aiming for a harmonyof metaphor, symbol, and diction more natural, vigorous, and sincere.
The most complex facet of Yeats’s poetry is perhaps its linguistic subtlety andnondiscursiveness. He does not tell the reader what to think, but aims to evokeemotion or feelings through particularly resonant imagery. This article aims to arguethat symbols in Yeats are not fixed at an unique point, but ubiquitous at any point,and therefore are infinite. The first part of the article examines, in the process ofproving infinity in symbol, picturesque images in later poems, which are analyzedfrom the point of view of Benjamin’s language theory. The second part addressesthe argument that Yeats intends to reveal, through picturesque images, not materialobjects but emotion and feelings, or the mental life via images. The last part arguesthat symbols in Yeats’s poetry are infinite, as reflects the infinitude of language ashis medium.

예이츠의 후기시에 나타난 언어의 외연적 한계성과 내포적 무한성*



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