Having mocked Catholicism and the Revival of “our Irish poets” earlier in Telemachus, Mulligan turns his wit to demeaning the cultivation of Irish “folk” identity: ancient legends, myths, customs, and spiritual beliefs that were being studied and imitated by scholars and writers from the 1880s onward. One particular target of his sarcasm is the greatest of the writers of the Revival, William Butler Yeats, whose Fergus song he has just been quoting from.

JH 2011

William Butler Years, Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry. Source: alexandrianhouse.com.

The Dun Emer press in action, 1903: Elizabeth Corbett Yeats at the press, Beatrice Cassidy also standing (setting type?) and Esther Ryan correcting copy. Source: www.pitt.edu.

Colophon to In The Seven Woods. Source: privatelibrary.typepad.com.