This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1921. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... PREFACE The first two plays in this book were written before I had any adequate knowledge of the stage, but all were written to be played. I have always looked upon the play written to be read only as an imperfect form, even for the reader who would find it the more exciting for the vigorous structure, the working to a climax, that had made it hold some fitting audience. A writer of drama must observe the form as carefully as if it were a sonnet, but he must always deny that there is any subjectmatter which is in itself dramatic -- any especial round of emotion fitted to the stage, or that a play has no need to await its audience or to create the interest it lives by. Dramatic art is a method of expression, and neither an hair-breadth escape nor a love affair more befits it than the passionate exposition of the most delicate and strange intuitions; and the dramatist is as free as the painter of good pictures and the writer of good books. All art is passionate, but a flame is not the less flame because we change the candle for a lamp or the lamp for a fire; and all flame is beautiful. A lover is subtle about his mistress's eyebrow, and I have found in Dublin a small audience so much interested in Ireland that they have not complained too loudly that my fellow-dramatists at the Abbey Theatre or I myself write of difficmlt and unfamiliar things. I have chosen all of my themes from Irish legend or Irish history, and my friends have made joyous, extravagant, and, as I am certain, distinguished comedy out of the common life of the villages, or out of a phantasy trained by the contemplation of that life and of the tales told by its firesides. This theatre cannot but be the more interesting to people of other races because it is Irish a...
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William Butler Yeats is generally considered to be Ireland s greatest poet, living or dead, and one of the most important literary figures of the twentieth century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1923.
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