Cover image for W.H. Auden
Title:
W.H. Auden
Author:
Johnson, Wendell Stacy, 1927-
Publication Information:
New York : Continuum, 1990.
Physical Description:
175 pages ; 22 cm.
General Note:
"A Frederick Ungar book."

Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780826404497
Format :
Book

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PR6001.U4 Z755 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

A lost soul; a literary nomad; a voice filled with life, sensuality, and childlike wonder yet heavy with sorrow and the specter of death--this is the essence of W.H. Auden, the man and the poet. This biocritical survey portrays Auden's life through personal anecdote, friendship, and his published and unpublished works. Ranging from drama and political satire to operatic libretti and literary criticism, Auden's themes touch upon the nature of love, faith, healing, and death.``Earth, receive an honored guest,'' wrote Auden in his elegy to Yeats. One might also say: Libraries, receive an elegiac complement to literary biography. For general and academic libraries. --Mikey Scott, Torrey Pines H.S., Del Mar, Cal. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

Johnson's introduction to W.H. Auden contains both sensible views and, surprisingly, astonishing contempt. He observes that "{{Audon's}} verse on sexual love, on moral faults and virtues, and on a range of topics. . .was rarely limited by its language to his own life or the lives of his intimate companions." This sensible statement about the poet's life is shortly followed with this: "But the most surprising project of this period was his affair with a young woman. . . ." Project is hardly the mot juste. The contempt continues: "He had also said that when he died he would like his friends to roast and eat his body. . .it would also symbolize his becoming a part of his dear ones, and the idea might even echo his lines on the death of Yeats, "The words of the dead man/ Are modified in the guts of the living.'" Normally a reader can tolerate a certain amount of this kind of contempt and nonsense, but in a book that is both introductory and slight (153 pages excluding notes and bibliography) it is unacceptable. Unfortunately it is a very well produced book and one can imagine first-year students pulling it off the shelf with alacrity. Barbara Everett's Auden (Edinburg, 1964), although dated, remains the best short introduction. -S. Donovan, St. Thomas University