Urban Encounters and Visual Play in the Yellow Book
In his recent collection of poems, The Yellow Book (1997), the Irish poet and journalist Derek Mahon draws on the literary culture and decadent spirit of the 1890s to comment on the weariness of postmodern cosmopolitanism he perceives a century later. In the opening poem, ‘Landscape’, Mahon positions himself as a Baudelairean metropolitan observer, peering out from an attic and deciphering the cityscape:
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