A Chinese Immortality? W.B. Yeats’s “Lapis Lazuli"

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 - 13:00 to 14:00
The National Library of Ireland Kildare Street, Dublin 2.

Responding to the 70th birthday gift of a Chinese carved stone in lapis lazuli (now on view in the Yeats Exhibit at the National Library), Yeats wrote one of the most opaque poems of his later years. In this lecture, Professor Jerusha McCormack uses her experience of teaching in and about China to decode this poem as it moves from Western versions of immortality to the more elusive Chinese vision as inscribed in the carvings of this venerable artefact.

After teaching for 30 years in the School of English at University College, Dublin, Jerusha McCormack was appointed Visiting Professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University in China, where in 2007 she helped to found the Irish Studies Centre. She returns to China this autumn to teach for a semester at Peking University.