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Synge and Edwardian Ireland$
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Brian Cliff and Nicholas Grene

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199609888

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609888.001.0001

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Stalking Yeats

Stalking Yeats

The Celebrity System of Revivalist Dublin

(p.34) 3 Stalking Yeats
Synge and Edwardian Ireland

Lucy McDiarmid

Oxford University Press

The memoirs of J. M. Synge’s friends and contemporaries (Mary Colum, W. B. Yeats, Beatrice Lady Glenavy, William Orpen, George Moore, and others) show how proximity to the great and famous functioned as part of an implicit celebrity system in the Dublin of the Irish Revival: value spread from the chief to the minor celebrities, and to everyone who met them once or stalked them through the city. Mary Colum stalked Yeats and saved his cigarette butt, and Seamus O’Sullivan entered a store George Moore had just left, seeking to buy the same brand of tobacco. Contemporary celebrity theory does not fit the Irish Revival, whose stars were not inaccessibly remote but intimates who walked the same streets. Celebrities one bumps into are less godlike, and in the Dublin of the Irish Revival, reverence coexisted with irreverence.

Keywords:   Irish Revival, celebrity theory, W.B. Yeats, Irish memoirs, George Moore, Dublin, Mary Colum

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