“When we have awakened our tastes, and criticised the world in tasting it, we have come to know ourselves.” – Autobiographies
In a similar vein to the previous post, this time it’s W. B. Yeats’ Autobiographies. Nobel Prize winner and Irish literary revivalist, Yeats achieved mythological status in early twentieth century Ireland as the standard bearer for Irish independence through the arts. He favoured the use of ancient Celtic legends as inspiration for contemporary literature. He worked closely with Lady Gregory and John Millington Synge (author of The Playboy of the Western World), and founded the Abbey theatre in an attempt to unite a fragmented nation through his writing.
Born in Dublin to John Butler Yeats, a painter, and Susan Pollexfen from County Sligo, Yeats was raised a Protestant and attended school both in Ireland and England. In Autobiographies, he explains how infatuated he became with the west of Ireland, its rugged landscape and superstitions. In many of his early poems, Yeats fondly recalls the west of Ireland and its traditions while emphasising that it is here that the Irish identity lies.
Autobiographies is written in the melodic cadences of a master poet. Yeats attributes a lot of time to his fixation with the supernatural and enables the reader to understand why it was such an important part of his existence. Yeats experienced a further period of productivity later in life when his outlook became more drastic. Unfortunately the book’s time frame doesn’t stretch to include it.
I read Autobiographies fuelled by brimming bowls of homemade Orange & Pistachio granola. It is completely addictive and so easy to make. The recipe came from the great Chezmoi blog. I didn’t put any dried fruit in the batch I made as I’m not a huge fan of it in granola, but that is the beauty of this recipe, it tastes good no matter what.