States of Desire shows how the writings of Wilde, Yeats, and Joyce are politically subversive in the most local and dangerous sense of the term: they aim to take apart the assumptions and verbal practices that make dominance possible. Oscar Wilde, William Butler Yeats, and James Joyce each developed an experimental style out of the struggle with his national heritage, but each also had to come to terms with passionate ideals of his own that for a time impeded or denied the versatility of his writing.

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