W.H Auden after 1940
The third volume of Auden Studies presents Auden in maturity, and includes a large amount of his unpublished prose. The book concentrates on Auden's relatively underexplored post-1940 writings, and the letters, essay, and lectures printed here demonstrate the Goethean scope of his intellect, which ranged easily and illuminatingly from psychoanalysis to theology, archaeology to politics.
'In Solitude, For Company' contains two hitherto unpublished lectures. The first of these, introduced by Nicholas Jenkins, is on the theme of vocation. It was delivered during the war years, when Auden, newly arrived in the United States, was redefining his sense of his own vocation. The second lecture, given near the end of his life, discusses the work of Sigmund Freud. Katherine Bucknell sets this lecture in context with a full examination of Auden's intensely ambivalent attitude to Freud. The classicist G. W. Bowersock introduces the text of Auden's unpublished 1966 essay on 'The Fall of Rome' in which Auden draws a powerful series of parallels between the end of Roman civilization and the decline of our own society.
Also included is a generous and fully-annotated selection of Auden's correspondence with his close friends James and Tania Stern which reveals much new and important biographical information. Edward Mendelson's further supplement to the Auden Bibliography provides a complete listing of all Auden's published letters; an Austrian friend recalls Auden's final years in Kirchstetten; and a group of distinguished literary critics, including David Bromwich, Lawrence Lipking, Edna Longley, and Michael Wood, together with the communist novelist Edward Upward, comment on one of this century's most famous poems, 'In Praise of Limestone'.