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Journal Article

The Brawling of a Sparrow in the Eaves: Vision and Revision in W. B. Yeats

David Ben-Merre
Journal of Modern Literature
Vol. 31, No. 4 (Summer, 2008), pp. 71-85
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25167570
Page Count: 15
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The Brawling of a Sparrow in the Eaves: Vision and Revision in W. B. Yeats
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Abstract

The two versions of W. B. Yeats's "The Scholars"-one written in 1915, the other in 1929-come out of different histories in both the narrative of Yeats's life and Ireland's national story. Reading this revision, not as a corrective measure, but instead as a poetic device, we can see in a slight metrical trick how Yeats shifts the expected positions under which poets and critics operate. What is at stake is not only the meaning of revision, but also the very basis of how we go about reading critically. This article is about the relationship between history, nationalism, and the work of Yeats, who, despite a persistent drive toward a mythic unity, always seems to embrace an aesthetic of conflict.

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