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‘Only Poets and Occultists Believe in Them Just Now’: Fairies and the Modernist Crisis of Authorship
Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, Study of Religions.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9264-0395
2018 (English)In: The Occult in Modernist Art, Literature, and Cinema / [ed] Tessel M. Bauduin & Henrik Johnsson, Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018, p. 93-110Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A fragmentation of self often informed the modernist quest for redefining the authorial self, a development explored in this chapter. The focus lies on the crisis of authorship as it manifested in the works of British writers and artists who claimed to have been inspired by fairies or even had their works produced by fairies. Occultist, antiquarian and artistic discourses concerning fairies could collide, as the chapter’s case study of William Butler Yeats shows. In a milieu where fairies were captured in photographs and cited as inspiration for paintings and literature, fairies could play an important role in experiments into fragmenting the authorial self, contributing to the modernist perception of the creative subject as passive and unstable, or even splintered, by ascribing artistic innovation to external entities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. p. 93-110
National Category
Religious Studies
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URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-36459DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-76499-3_5ISBN: 978-3-319-76498-6 (print)ISBN: 978-3-319-76499-3 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-36459DiVA, id: diva2:1251671
Available from: 2018-09-27 Created: 2018-09-27 Last updated: 2018-09-27Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • Other style
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  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf