The Hidden Law: The Poetry of W. H. Auden

Hecht, Anthony

Published by Harvard University Press
ISBN 10: 0674390067 / ISBN 13: 9780674390065
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0674390067 Harvard University Press; Cambridge, 1993. Hardcover. First edition. Signed. Fine in a Fine Dustwrapper, trace use/handling. Signed by the author, just a signature without personalization, on the title page. A nice, clean unmarked copy. 8vo[octavo or aprx 6 x 9 inches], 484pp., indexed. We pack securely and ship daily with delivery confirmation on every book. The picture on the listing page is of the actual book for sale. Additional Scan(s) are available for any item, please inquire. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: In this study - the fruit of a lifelong critical and imaginative engagement with W.H. Auden's works - Anthony Hecht identifies and traces consistent habits of thought and belief within the poet's extensive and varied writings and through his celebrated conversions and repudiations, literary and otherwise. Hecht acknowledges that Auden's poems "both invite the intrusive scrutiny of the cryptographer and deny him access". Yet the readings he offers of poems from every phase of Auden's career, along with dramatic works and critical essays, manage to explicate and illuminate Auden's rich (and often cryptic) allusiveness without murdering to dissect. Among the themes that connect Auden's works are his deep interest in the workings of language; his notion of the ultimate frivolity of art; his interest in the nature of heroism; his understanding of the relation of public to private life; the development of his religious thought; and what Auden called the "hidden law" that governs human existence - a strict and retaliatory force, something like poetic justice, that gives form to our best literature and shapes our personal fates. Hecht identifies these preoccupations in Auden's works - and shows how they cut across the many genres in which he wrote - without losing sight of each poem's individual history and context. As one of Auden's poetic heirs, Anthony Hecht is well qualified to illuminate both the reading and the writing of these significant works of 20th century literature.

Review: I know of no other instance of a poet of comparable mastery of his art and his experience taking up in such loving detail the work of a predecessor (and near contemporary). -- Richard Howard "Washington Post Book World" This is a book about poetry, about a poet who was dedicated to the art like few others of our time, whose poetic technique only another poet as gifted as Hecht could gloss...The richness of reference in this book to history, prosody, theology, poetry, punctuation, makes for a long swim in the heady liquor of poetry--not only Auden's poetry but that of the hundreds of authors whom Auden read...It is a pleasure to read. -- Peter Davison "Atlantic" "The Hidden Law"'s dispassionate critical voice unfolds a powerful meditation on the vicissitudes of the poetic life...It is at its most significant level a narrative of Anthony Hecht's emergence as a poet, and for all that the book tells us by implication, it takes its place alongside MacNeice's "Yeats" and Berryman's "Crane," -- Nicholas Jenkins "Times Literary Supplement"

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Title: The Hidden Law: The Poetry of W. H. Auden
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine

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Hecht, Anthony
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Book Description Condition: Good. [ No Hassle 30 Day Returns ][ Ships Daily ] [ Underlining/Highlighting: NONE ] [ Writing: NONE ] [ Edition: First ] Publisher: Harvard University Press Pub Date: 4/1/1993 Binding: Hardcover Pages: 496 First edition. Seller Inventory # 5659786

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