Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle  Learn more Countdown to Prime Day Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars2
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
1
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item
Share your thoughts with other customers

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 4 June 2012
To attempt to describe over 2000 pages (across 4 volumes) of beautifully written prose is to run the risk of limiting their appeal. These volumes are special.

Auden earned his living by writing reviews, by teaching, and by compiling anthologies. Auden's prose output, as collected and presented by Edward Mendelson, Princeton University Press /Faber & Faber, consists of Volume I 836 pp (1926-38), Vol. II 556 pp (1939-48), Vol III 779 pp (1949-55), and Vol. IV 982 pp (1956-62).

Having re-read most of Volumes I & II (yes, that good), what I have read of the other volumes has not disappointed. Quite the contrary.

Auden offered as evidence 'the distortions in a culture where a poet could earn much more money by reflecting on his art than by practicing it'(Tony Sharpe, Auden's Prose, 111, Cambridge Companion, 2004) but, like Shaw's Prefaces, Auden's prose is often just as interesting as anything he had to say in his poems, and, perhaps taking Auden's own lead, the directness of prose often makes it a more accessible medium. Poetry and prose should not, I accept, be compared. That said, 'Áuden accepted that it was pointless to attempt any absolute formal distinction between poetry and prose'(Sharpe 112).

What did Auden write about the work of Robert Frost, Lawrence (TE) or Hopkins, Pope, or Byron? Of the city of Valencia, or China? Of Architecture, and Education? Volume I

Yeats, Arnold, McNeice, Rilke, Milton, Sandburg, James Joyce & Wagner, Henry James, Baudelaire, Betjeman, or Lawrence (DH). Auden on Opera, Fascism, Eros & Agape, or Shakespeare. Volume II

Volume III Auden on Graham Greene, Somerset Maugham, Ronald Firbank, John Ashbery, Adrienne Rich, Jean Cocteau, Colette, the list goes on. Auden too harks back to Keats, to Eliot, to Freud, to Mozart and to range of topics, Music, Philosophy, Freedom, and Authority.

Volume IV Dostoevsky, Voltaire, Van Gogh, Goethe... the list goes on.

Not cheap (attention librarians) but well worth it.
0Comment|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 31 December 2014
Glad to have this, though I know a fair bit of it already.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse