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The Cambridge Companion to W. H. Auden (Cambridge Companions to Literature) Hardcover – 13 Jan 2005


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (13 Jan. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521829623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521829625
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.1 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,565,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

'For any student of Auden's writings or anyone interested in him as a man, this collection will prove essential reading.' Contemporary Review

'… the book should be on the shelves of all libraries collecting in the areas of Anglo-American relations, literature, drama, and 20th century social and political history.' Reference Reviews

Book Description

This volume brings together specially commissioned essays by leading experts on the life and work of W. H. Auden. It provides scholars, students and general readers with a comprehensive and authoritative account of Auden's life and works in clear and accessible English, and contains a bibliography of writings about Auden.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
'Of the many definitions of poetry, the simplest is still the best: "memorable speech"', W. H. Auden wrote in the Introduction to his 1935 anthology, The Poet's Tongue (Poet's Tongue, p. v). Read the first page
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Hurley on 17 Sept. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book consists of a series of very readable introductory essays to Auden's life and work, most of which are quite detailed, and written by notable Auden scholars. It will not disappoint. A dozen or so pages, each devoted to Auden's verse, his prose, the American Auden, the English Auden, the European Auden, and so on; it is the best introduction anyone might hope for, particularly if you are a student. It is also a showpiece edition, and tends to avoid such issues as Auden's problematic early critical reception, the fact that Auden's early experimental poetry remains glossed over (see John Boly) but these are perhaps less faults than they are issues of editorial selection. Paul Hendon's 'The Poetry of ~~' will augment these 'omissions' nicely. Those looking to understand Auden and modern literary theory should read Rainer Emig or John Boly's other works on Auden (as this volume is a general introduction).

Edward Mendelson's books on Auden, Humphrey Carpenter's biography and Auden's 4 volumes of prose writings are all wonderful, readable accounts of Auden's life and work. Fuller's Commentary is an essential guide to some of the less accessible poems but doesn't supply a narrative and so acts as a reference work only. Hoggart's book (bio) is currently (5/2012) out of print. A book on Auden's Juvenilia is also available. Probably the biggest obstacle to selecting books BY Auden is to know which are books of poetry and which are not. This series of essays contains a bibliography which helps to sort through that conundrum. A visit to [...] (home to the Auden Newsletter) will also help.

260+ printed pages, 19 essays, a good Introduction by Stan Smith, a useful index, published in 2004, well worth the money.
Essays by Stan Smith (Ed.
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By Sally J Blackmore on 1 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book and arrived on time
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A Really Wonderful Overview and Certainly Worth the Money 24 Jan. 2009
By M. Hurley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Some great, great essays (19) here on every aspect of Auden's life and career & writing though as usual quite a few of the essayists lapse into anecdotal style (v. frustrating for those of us interested purely in language). You won't find much post-modern musings in here but you will find a host of sensible commentaries as befits Cambridge UP.

Certainly worth the money. I found the essay on theory a bit thin particularly as John Boly's own book on Auden's poetry is a rave. Rainer Emig features and he too has a book, Toward a Postmodern Poetics, which is very interesting, provocative and moves away from some of the orthodox views of Auden. -Sorry, but so many books purporting to be about Auden's poetry lapse into sly portraits of his life fine if you like that kind of thing (see John G. Blair on "the major failing" of Auden criticism.).

Anyway, these essays are value for money, quite detailed, pointing in all kinds of directions. You will not find a better series of introductory essays though ed. George Bahlke's essays (1991), featuring some of the (then) leading lights of Auden Studies, might be a good companion purchase, if it is still in print.
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