Presented in one volume for the very first time, and updated with new archival discoveries, Early Auden, Later Auden reintroduces Edward Mendelson's acclaimed, two-part biography of W. H. Auden (1907-73), one of the greatest literary figures of the twentieth century. This book offers a detailed history and interpretation of Auden's oeuvre, spanning the duration of his career from juvenilia to his final works in poetry as well as theatre, film, radio, opera, essays, and lectures. Early Auden, Later Auden follows the evolution of the poet's thought, offering a comparison of Auden's views at various junctures over a lifetime. With penetrating insight, Mendelson examines Auden's early ideas, methods, and personal transitions as reflected in poems, manuscripts, and private papers. The book then links changes in Auden's intellectual, emotional, and religious experience with his shifting public role--showing the depth of his personal struggles with self and with fame, and the means by which these internal conflicts were reflected in his art in later years.
Featuring a new preface by the author, Early Auden, Later Auden is an engaging and timeless work that demonstrates Auden's remarkable range and complexity, paying homage to his enduring legacy.
Preface to the One-Volume Edition ix Early Auden Introduction to Early Auden 3 Part One: The Border And The Group (August 1927-May 1933) I The Exiled Word 15 II The Watershed 36 III Family Ghosts 53 IV The Evolutionary Defile 69 V Trickster and Tribe 86 VI Private Places 115 VII Looking for Land 132 Part Two: The Two Worlds (June 1933-January 1939) VIII Lucky This Point 151 IX The Great Divide 167 X The Insufficient Touch 196 XI Their Indifferent Redeemer 220 XII Parables of Action: 1 236 XIII Parables of Action: 2 257 XIV History to the Defeated 277 XV From This Island 297 Epilogue 325 Later Auden Introduction to Later Auden 329 Part One: Vision And After (1939-1947) I Demon or Gift 339 II The Vision Enters 363 III Against the Devourer 389 IV Investigating the Crime 418 V It without Image 448 VI Imaginary Saints 471 VII The Absconded Vision 495 VIII The Murderous Birth 522 IX Asking for Neighborhood 557 Part Two: The Flesh We Are (1948-1957) X The Murmurs of the Body 589 XI Waiting for a City 615 XII The Great Quell 638 XIII Number or Face 664 XIV The Altering Storm 690 Part Three: Territorial (1958-1973) XV Poet of the Encirclement 715 XVI The Air Changes 735 XVII This Time Final 755 XVIII The Concluding Carnival 783 Postscript His Secret Life 809 Notes and Index Reference Notes 821 Index 877