W.H.Auden (Vintage Lives)

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9780099442561: W.H.Auden (Vintage Lives)

A masterful biography of one of the greatest English poets and most compelling literary figures of the 20th century, Auden is the first to take the full measure of the poet's achievements, his insatiable thirst for experience, his navigation between the needs of discipline and the lure of his addictions and lusts.

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About the Author:

Richard Davenport-Hines was born in 1953. The author of several books, including Sex, Death, and Punishment and The MacMillans

From Publishers Weekly:

Poet W.H. Auden (1907-1973) scrupulously never kissed and told; very little biographical material made it into his work, and that which did was often later suppressed by him. Davenport-Hines (The Macmillans) here traces many of Auden's poems, plays, essays, reviews and libretti to life events Auden never showed us, mostly notably his charged relationships with men. In brisk, informative readings of the work, Davenport-Hines matches turns in style and subject matter with Auden's experiences. For example, when discussing the poem "Spain 1937," he highlights Auden's disillusioning volunteer service with the International Brigade. The emphasis throughout, however, is on the exigencies of love and sex. Auden is shown, in early poems like "The Orators," obliquely coming to terms with his homosexuality, exploring and rejecting the fashionable Freudianism of the '30s. He mined his ultimately unsustainable relationship with Chester Kallman for observations about life and love in much of the later work, beginning with "The Sea and the Mirror." What is left out is a full account of the basic facts of Auden's life, which may leave one with a taste for earlier biographies that dwell less on the writing. Photos.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Richard Davenport-Hines
Published by Vintage Classics
ISBN 10: 0099442566 ISBN 13: 9780099442561
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