Fiction Stephen Spender The Temple

ISBN 13: 9780060972424

The Temple

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9780060972424: The Temple

This novel by the young Stephen Spender was written as an experiment in 1930 but abandoned in draft and forgotten until rediscovered by a researcher. Believed to be autobiographical, it tells the story of a young English poet on vacation in Hamburg in 1929 and his response to the Weimar world.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Those who remember when modern poetry was entering its primethe era of Eliot, Auden, Spender and Day Lewiswill read this autobiographical novel, written when Spender was 19, and recently rediscovered and revised, with nostalgic interest. With portraits of Auden and Isherwood barely disguised by fictional names, it chronicles Spender's first visit to Hamburg in the summer of 1929 and his second, actually in the fall of the same year, now updated to 1932. Events are few: afternoons of swimming, drunken evenings at nightclubs, a week's hike along the Rhine, but Paul, the narrator, relates them with poetic sensibility that renders place and people snapshot-clear. Bantering reference is made to the partly Jewish background of Paul and most of his friends, but it is not until his second visit that the Nazi threat becomes tangible. By then, sexual preferences have been sorted outthere's a pungent interlude with the Isherwood character and the shifty-eyed German youth who became his long-term loveras well as political proclivities. Chilling anticipation of the harm that will be dealt by Nazi sympathizers to young businessmen and artists lurks in the breaking off of once-intimate friendships. Doom, nowhere articulated, is implied in the eagerness of Paul's friends to misinterpret the signs. Always gracefully, sometimes elegantly, written, this is a fine example of a young poet's first attempt at the novelist's trade.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

First drafted when Spender was 19, this novel has lain dormant in the archives at the University of Texas since 1962, whence it was ferreted out and brought to Spender's attention again a few years ago. Spender rewrote it during 1986-87 and has now published it for the first time. Set in Germany in the Thirties, it combines aspects of Bildungsroman and roman a clef ; thematic concerns include sexual mores, naturism, and fascism. Any new publication by Spender is an event, and this item's peculiar history will cause additional stir. That said, the novel has relatively little to recommend it; the plot meanders, the effort at experimental fiction is uninspired, the dialogue is stilted and the prose flat. It will be read primarily by students of Spender and his circle. Robert E. Brown, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Stephen Spender
Published by Harpercollins (1989)
ISBN 10: 0060972424 ISBN 13: 9780060972424
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
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Book Description Harpercollins, 1989. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0060972424

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