Subjectivity and Nationhood in Yeats, Joyce and Beckett

BookSubjectivity and Nationhood in Yeats, Joyce and Beckett

Subjectivity and Nationhood in Yeats, Joyce and Beckett

Nietzschean Constellations

Liverpool Studies in Irish Literature


April 1st, 2023





Subjectivity and Nationhood in Yeats, Joyce and Beckett: Nietzschean Constellations reconceptualises Friedrich Nietzsche’s position in the intellectual history of modernism and substantively refigures our received ideas regarding his relationship to these canonical Irish modernists. Building on recent developments in new modernist studies, the book demonstrates that Nietzsche is a modernist writer and a modernist philosopher by establishing new parallels between his engagement with established philosophical theories and the aesthetic practices that Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot identified as quintessentially modernist. With specific reference to key Nietzschean philosophemes – eternal recurrence, the Übermensch, transnationalism, cultural paralysis, and ethical perspectivism – it challenges the longstanding assumption that Yeats, who repeatedly acknowledged his admiration for Nietzsche, is the most 'Nietzschean' of these Irish modernists. While showing how both Joyce and Beckett are in many important ways more 'Nietzschean' than Yeats, this interdisciplinary study makes a number of significant and timely contributions to the fields of Irish studies and modernist studies.

Author Information

Matthew Fogarty is Associate Lecturer at the School of English, Drama and Film in University College Dublin.

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Introduction: Nietzschean Modernism
1. Foundational Systems and the Eternal Recurrence of the Same
2. Aesthetic Potentiality and the Übermensch Ideal
3. Cultural Paralysis and the Transnational State of Being
4. Consciousness and the Ethics of Alterity
Conclusion: Nietzschean Constellations