James Joyce meets WB Yeats

Burlesque Press regular contributor Daniel Wallace wrote this post last year over on his blog, The Incompetent Writer. We thought you might find it interesting! I mean its got Joyce, its got Yeats, its got ageism and its filled with foreboding. Its also really fun for anyone who is interested in either of those authors, or becoming a writer themselves.

And also, check out The Incompetent Writer blog. You might be surprised by how exceedingly ahem, competent it is 🙂

The Incompetent Writer

This is WB Yeats’s account of his first conversation with the young James Joyce–Joyce walked up to him in the street and introduced himself. At the time, at the age of thirty seven, Yeats was one of the great figures of Irish letters, leading a revival of Irish myth and folklore through his poetry and plays. Joyce was more than simply unknown: he had barely written anything.

After inviting him to the smoking room of a restaurant on O’Connell Street, Yeats listened to and praised Joyce’s poems. Then Joyce:

‘…began to explain all his objections to everything I had ever done. Why had I concerned myself with politics, with folklore, with the historical setting of events, and so on? Above all why had I written about ideas, why had I condescended to make generalisations? These things were all the sign of the cooling of the iron, of the fading out of…

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