The Imagination of an Insurrection: Dublin, Easter 1916: A Study of an Ideological Movement – William Irwin Thompson.
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We know from our literary histories that there was a movement called the Irish Literary Renaissance, and that Yeats was at its head. We know from our political histories that there is now a Republic of Ireland because of a nationalistic movement that, militarily, began with the insurrection of Easter Week, 1916. But what do these two movements have to do with one another?…
Because I came to history with literary eyes, I could not help seeing history in terms and shapes of imaginative experience. Thus Movement, Myth, and Image came to be the way in which the nature of the insurrection appeared to me. This method of analyzing historical event as if it were a work of art is not altogether as inappropriate as it might seem when the historical event happens to be a revolution. The Irish revolutionaries lived as if they were in a work of art, and this inability to tell the difference between sober reality and the realm of imagination is perhaps one very important characteristic of a revolutionary. The tragedy of actuality comes from the fact that when, in a revolution, history is made momentarily into a work of art, human beings become the material that must be ordered, molded, or twisted into shape (from the preface). The first edition, rare and second hand book is in very good condition.