London: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1918. First edition. Hardcover. g to vg. Octavo. VI, 94, pp. Uncut. Original gilt-stamped blue cloth, with gold lettering to spine and front cover. Binding designed by Sturge Moore.* William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was an Irish poet and dramatist, and one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. "Per Amica Silentia Lunae" is Yeats' first "exploration of the symbology of the Anti-Self, or Mask, which he will articulate in greater detail in "A Vision." Most critics have tended to consider "Per Amica" as a kind of adjunct to his better-known work, thinking of it as a "first draft" to "A Vision" (Seiden, Ure). Even Yeats, in a letter to his father, assigned it secondary status as "a kind of prose backing to my poetry" (Letters 625). Among those who have accorded the essay an autonomous significance, opinion ranges as to Yeats' intention in revealing the enigmatic source of his inspiration. Lawrence Lipking regards "Per Amica" as an initiatory tract, in the same genre as Dante's "La Vita Nuova" and Blake's "Marriage of Heaven and Hell." Robert Langbaum, on the other hand, takes a psychoanalytic tack, interpreting Yeats' intention as responding to the twin problems bequeathed him by romanticism, the problem of the divided self and solipsism - the claustrophobic fear that the struggle played out within the prisonhouse of self has nothing to do with external reality." (For more information, see Susan Dobra's "The Rhetoric of Belief"). Moderate shelf wear. Spine slightly faded. Previous owner's gift inscription on upper margin of front free endpaper "B. Magdalen Peters. Jan. 21, 1918. With best love from J. A. Guillebaud." Minor and sporadic foxing throughout. Binding in overall good to good+, interior in good+ to very good condition. * Thomas Sturge Moore (1870-1944) was an English poet, author and artist. He was a long-term friend and correspondent of W. B. Yeats, who was to describe him as "one of the most exquisite poets writing in England". He was also a playwright, writing a Medea influenced by Yeats' drama and the Japanese Noh style. As a wood-engraver and artist he designed the covers for poetry editions of Yeats and others.
(Inventory #: 41371)
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