The Complete Works of W. H. Auden: Prose, Volume IV, 1956-1962

The Complete Works of W. H. Auden: Prose, Volume IV, 1956-1962

by W. H. Auden
     
 

This fourth volume of W. H. Auden's prose provides a unique picture of this legendary writer's mind and art when he was at the height of his powers, from 1956 through 1962, including the years when he was Professor of Poetry at Oxford. The volume includes his best-known and most important prose collection, The Dyer's Hand, as well as scores of essays,

Overview

This fourth volume of W. H. Auden's prose provides a unique picture of this legendary writer's mind and art when he was at the height of his powers, from 1956 through 1962, including the years when he was Professor of Poetry at Oxford. The volume includes his best-known and most important prose collection, The Dyer's Hand, as well as scores of essays, reviews, and lectures on subjects ranging from J. R. R. Tolkien and Martin Luther to psychedelic drugs, cooking, and Homer. Much of the material has never been collected in book form, and some selections, such as the witty orations Auden wrote for ceremonies at Oxford University, are almost entirely unknown.

Edward Mendelson's introduction and comprehensive notes provide biographical and historical explanations of all obscure references. The text includes extensive corrections and revisions that Auden marked in personal copies of his work and which are printed here for the first time.

Editorial Reviews

New York Review of Books
Praise for the previous volume: Prose, Volume III is wonderfully edited, like all the many editions of Auden supervised by Edward Mendelson. . . . [T]he articles will delight any reader with their wit, charm, and elegance.
— Charles Rosen
London Review of Books
Volume IV of Auden's prose . . . is, like the others, edited by Edward J. Mendelson with unparalleled care and discretion, but it allows us an additional pleasure, since The Dyer's Hand occupies its last major part. Thus we can read that book as Auden wanted us to, before or after we look at the rest of the prose . . . or we could just dip and skim in the whole volume, go away and come back, guided by names and titles and chance—there's plenty to keep us busy.
Books & Culture
This fourth volume of W. H. Auden's prose, edited and introduced by Edward Mendelson with customary mastery, covers a mere six years of the poet's life. But they were eventful years for him, personally and intellectually. . . . The whole of The Dyer's Hand appears in this volume of the Complete Works, and most of what Auden drew from in making up the book is here, too, in its original and unrevised form.
— Alan Jacobs
Gay and Lesbian Review
I can give this collection a strong recommendation.
— Alfred Corn
Books & Culture - Alan Jacobs
This fourth volume of W. H. Auden's prose, edited and introduced by Edward Mendelson with customary mastery, covers a mere six years of the poet's life. But they were eventful years for him, personally and intellectually. . . . The whole of The Dyer's Hand appears in this volume of the Complete Works, and most of what Auden drew from in making up the book is here, too, in its original and unrevised form.
Gay and Lesbian Review - Alfred Corn
I can give this collection a strong recommendation.
Review of English Studies - Emily Kane
While most pieces of the volume can be found in other manners, this compilation enables readers to discover more easily and efficiently gems of prose phrasing about poetry, criticism and their purpose, and the poet's readings of and connections between his work and that of his contemporaries and predecessors in significantly contemplative years of his life.
New York Review of Books - Charles Rosen
Praise for the previous volume: Prose, Volume III is wonderfully edited, like all the many editions of Auden supervised by Edward Mendelson. . . . [T]he articles will delight any reader with their wit, charm, and elegance.
London Review of Books - Frank Kermode
Praise for the previous volume: When you add in the volumes already devoted to plays, libretti, poems, it becomes hard to avoid describing the whole enterprise as heroic. In fact it could also be described as unique, for no other twentieth-century English poet has been so fully and patiently honoured.
David Marx Book Reviews - David Marx
If anything, The Complete Works of W. H. Auden: Prose, Volume IV, 1956-1962 is a literary tour-de-force, that covers as well as conveys, almost everything this ultimate poet, writer, quintessential observer of life and critic, was all about. . . . [This] is a very well conceived and comprehensive 'lucky accident.' Not to mention an all-round, terrific book.
From the Publisher
"Volume IV of Auden's prose . . . is, like the others, edited by Edward J. Mendelson with unparalleled care and discretion, but it allows us an additional pleasure, since The Dyer's Hand occupies its last major part. Thus we can read that book as Auden wanted us to, before or after we look at the rest of the prose . . . or we could just dip and skim in the whole volume, go away and come back, guided by names and titles and chance—there's plenty to keep us busy."London Review of Books

"This fourth volume of W. H. Auden's prose, edited and introduced by Edward Mendelson with customary mastery, covers a mere six years of the poet's life. But they were eventful years for him, personally and intellectually. . . . The whole of The Dyer's Hand appears in this volume of the Complete Works, and most of what Auden drew from in making up the book is here, too, in its original and unrevised form."—Alan Jacobs, Books & Culture

"I can give this collection a strong recommendation."—Alfred Corn, Gay and Lesbian Review

"If anything, The Complete Works of W. H. Auden: Prose, Volume IV, 1956-1962 is a literary tour-de-force, that covers as well as conveys, almost everything this ultimate poet, writer, quintessential observer of life and critic, was all about. . . . [This] is a very well conceived and comprehensive 'lucky accident.' Not to mention an all-round, terrific book."—David Marx, David Marx Book Reviews

Praise for the previous volume: Prose, Volume III is wonderfully edited, like all the many editions of Auden supervised by Edward Mendelson. . . . [T]he articles will delight any reader with their wit, charm, and elegance."—Charles Rosen, New York Review of Books

Praise for the previous volume: When you add in the volumes already devoted to plays, libretti, poems, it becomes hard to avoid describing the whole enterprise as heroic. In fact it could also be described as unique, for no other twentieth-century English poet has been so fully and patiently honoured."—Frank Kermode, London Review of Books

Praise for the previous volume: No major writer's complete works are more fun to read."Publishers Weekly

"While most pieces of the volume can be found in other manners, this compilation enables readers to discover more easily and efficiently gems of prose phrasing about poetry, criticism and their purpose, and the poet's readings of and connections between his work and that of his contemporaries and predecessors in significantly contemplative years of his life."—Emily Kane, Review of English Studies

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691147550
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
10/07/2010
Series:
Complete Works of W.H. Auden Series
Pages:
1056
Sales rank:
643,417
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.40(h) x 2.60(d)

Meet the Author

Edward Mendelson is the literary executor of the Estate of W. H. Auden and the Lionel Trilling Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. His books include "Early Auden", "Later Auden", and "The Things That Matter".

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