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Early Auden Paperback – May 22, 2000

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Editorial Reviews


"[An] astonishing critical study . . . an absorbing life of the poet's mind up to about 1942 . . . exciting and provocative."--Walter Clemons, Newsweek

About the Author

Edward Melson, born in 1946, is professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University. He lives with his wife and son in New York City.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st edition (May 22, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374526958
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374526955
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,671,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Hurley on January 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is the first of two books by the same author (see Later Auden)and I'd recommend buying them together as they are terrific accounts which tell Auden's story (mostly) in terms of his poetry. (John Fuller's commentary (on the poetry) augments these very well).(H. Carpenter for the best intro bio.)

Why I liked these books is that they don't expose a bias regarding Auden's life (Auden tends/ed to divide critics) and the poetry (always the first casualty) isn't neglected. There's too much of value in these books to try and paraphrase them but rest assured they will not disappoint. As usual though, the whole controversy over the attitude of certain critics (Jarrell/Leavis/Eagleton) is passed over. Still, really useful. I'd say the same for the Collected Prose, the Dyer's Hand, Forewords & Afterwords. Hendon is a bit spotty but maybe useful (and affordable) for undergrads, while the Sea & The Mirror is rather specialised (Art & Christianity), maybe to be tackled later.

Early and Late Auden are not so much 'academic' works as they are real portraits by someone close to the work, the writer and his times, so there isn't that distance you sometimes feel where authors set out "to do Auden". Great value. Will not disappoint.
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