What Became of Wystan: Change and Continuity in Auden's Poetry
University of Arkansas Press, 1998 - 160 pages
In this lucid and balanced treatise, Alan Jacobs reveals the true parameters of Auden's change after the poet's move to America in 1939. By carefully examining poems that represent transitional moments in Auden's thinking, Jacobs identifies the points at which the tectonic plates of the poet's intellect clashed and the buckles and rifts created in Auden's work. Surveying Auden's growth over time, Jacobs explores the idea of personal and moral change. Chapters outline Auden's rejection of Romanticism and his adoption of Horatianism, and his altered views of political, psychological, and sexual matters. Lastly Jacobs demonstrates the consistent qualities of thought and expression found throughout Auden's poetry and shows how, in great art as in great minds, change and continiuity may powerfully coexist.
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The Critique of Romanticism
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