ISSN : 2288-5412(Online)
DOI : http://dx.doi.org/10.14354/yjk.2010.33.117
W. B. Yeats's Hybrid Nationalism
Yeats’ nationalist philosophy is formed on the basis of his view of cyclichistory which is well embodied in A Vision. Unlike the historical view of theWestern world, as a whole Yeats does not presuppose any specific teleologicalbeginning or end. For Yeats, death and revival are always repeated anew in regularspans of time: the universe repeats genesis and extinction and every life repeatsmetempsychosis. He attacks the project of modernity as a teleological fiction, : thatis, as a myth occupying the spirit of the time, and as a mere “gigantic story.”There is no possibility for a tradition to definitely overcome another waning itcompletely, and thus history is far from being teleological.
Yeats has tried to serve his homeland through poetry and drama, making use oftheir popularity for heightening people’s perception of the reality of the time and hisartistic achievement. But the upcoming middle class, arising as a new politicalpower in Ireland, couldn't understand his intention. But, having witnessed in theEaster Rising in 1916 that the spirit of the nation still survives, he came toconceive a new hope for his homeland. About the heroic deeds done by the patriotskilled in that event, he regretted for the bloody violences happened there andenthrallment for their deeds of “terrible beauty” at the same time.
Yeats sees that Ireland needs to find its own characteristic culture and identityin order to achieve independence from the hands of England. Guarding against pursuing exclusively what is Irish, he also wants to acknowledge the diversity ofculture lying inside the boundaries of Ireland.
Stressing that various different cultures are conflicting with one anotheroutwardly, are reciprocal rather than exclusive actually, he seeks the way of hybridnationalism.