Celtic Mythology Celtic Myth As Literature And History - Essay

Celtic Myth As Literature And History

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

W. B. Yeats (1898)

SOURCE: "The Celtic Element in Literature," in Writings on Irish Folklore, Legend and Myth, edited by Robert Welch, Penguin Books, 1993, pp. 189-200.

[In the following essay, originally published in 1898, Yeats discusses the importance of Celtic myth and folklore to modern European literature.]

I

Ernest Renan1 described what he held to be Celtic characteristics in The Poetry of the Celtic Races. 'No race communed so intimately as the Celtic race with the lower creation, or believed it to have so big a share of moral life.' The Celtic race had 'a realistic naturalism', 'a love of...

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