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Poetry Of W.H. Audenby Paul Hendon
W.H. Auden has been a dominant force in twentieth-century poetry since the publication of his first book of poems in 1930. His work has borne witness to some of the major events of the century - from the slump of the 1930s to the war in Vietnam - yet it has an intensely personal and domestic side. A British subject who renounced his nationality in 1939 and subsequently took up American citizenship, Auden's life and work are full of complex divisions and contradictions.
In this Readers' Guide, Paul Hendon introduces some critical paths through Auden's demanding poetry by drawing upon material ranging from contemporary reviews and comments by fellow poets, to more recent scholarly and theoretical approaches. There is an overview of Auden's life and works, useful for readers new to the poet, while subsequent chapters discuss key critical themes through selected extracts . Issues such as the ambiguity of Auden's politics, his return to Christian faith, and his attitude to history, criticism and art are discussed, while the critical arguments surrounding his 'defection' to America and the significance of the increasingly domestic nature of his later work are assessed. The book concludes with a discursive summary of the main critical works on Auden. This Guide offers an introduction to the work of this major poet through the criticism it generated.
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Meet the Author
PAUL HENDON has written on the painter Paul Nash and on the 1951 Festival of Britain. He lectures at the University of Exeter.
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