Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

World Within World: The Autobiography of Stephen Spender (Modern Library) Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 2, 2001


See all 29 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Hardcover, Bargain Price, January 2, 2001
$6.41 $1.99
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$22.38

This is a bargain book and quantities are limited. Bargain books are new but could include a small mark from the publisher and an Amazon.com price sticker identifying them as such. Details


Special Offers and Product Promotions


NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library (January 2, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679640452
  • ASIN: B005ZOMC8O
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.1 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #582,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After being out of print for 12 years, Spender's classic autobiography appears in the wake of the author's plagiarism lawsuit against novelist David Leavitt.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

"This is a notable work on the meaning of a man's life and the varied aspects of the world in which he lives," said LJ's reviewer of Spender's autobiography (LJ 4/15/51) in which he serves up not only his own life in the arts but also offers portraits of Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Woolf, and other literary luminaries. The book was also the center of controversy when Spender's homosexual affair was fictionalized in a pornographic novel. Spender sued, and the novel was pulled. This edition contains a new introduction by the author.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
4
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 5 customer reviews
I have a longer discussion of the book at my blog for those interested.
Bruce Oksol
Aside from a few eccentricities regarding punctuation, I seriously doubt that autobiography has been written quite as well as this by anyone.
Victor A. Spooner
He was taken under the wings of such giants as Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot, who form the basis of two fascinating portraits.
mholesh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Myers VINE VOICE on March 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I like Stephen Spender. That is, of course, I like his poetry that I've read as well as his introduction to my favorite novel:Malcolm Lowry's Under The Volcano. I like this book too. But, first of all, there's altogether too much name-dropping, which becomes rather tedious at times. Some of the anecdotes are quite rum, like the ones involving Lady Ottoline Morrel. But all this Bloomsbury-Virginia Woolf business gets on one's nerves (well, mine anyway) after a while. I don't think Spender's homosexual relationship is the most important thing in the book; though it was doubtless courageous of Spender to include it as well as indispensable to getting this book back in print! The most important thing in the book is the difference in the pre- versus post- Spanish Civil War mindset among sensitive, well-bred intelllectuals among whom Spender was a figure. Before the war, Spender says, it seemed that individuals (particularly idealists) could make a difference. After the war, all that had not been killed fighting Franco (and there were many) were disillusioned and glum, especially Spender. Finally, this book has a sad tone that runs from Spender's school days to his middle age. He was a cultured, gifted writer who had not, by his middle ages, produced a "great work." And, despite the Queen's Gold Medal and Knighthood in later years, his melancholy grew worse. He speaks of himself at the end of the book as "rotted by a modicum of success" and admits that "My mistake was to think that my own nature would make everything easy."-The strange thing is that he didn't shake this attitude off. He was only halfway through his life. I was going to make put forth some hypotheses as to why, but, really, it's anybody's guess. Isn't it?
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By mholesh on February 13, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Memoirs have become ubiquitous recently, a favored literary form. World Within World is one of the best. Stephen Spender, one of England's leading twentieth century poets and literary figures wrote this book less than half way into his long life, covering his youth and early middle age through World War Two. While this book became notorious a few years back as the source of a lawsuit for plagiarism brought by Spender against David Leavitt over his book While England Sleeps, the book has merit far beyond the controversy. The incident which forms the basis of the dispute, Spender's rescue efforts on behalf of a former lover during the Spanish Civil War, is merely one of the interesting and illuminating episodes and set pieces of this book. Spender, growing up in the wake of World War One, in a well-connected family, encountered some of the leading literary figures of the Twentieth Century. He was a contemporary and friend of W. H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood and Cyril Connolly, whom he incisively sketches and analyzes, both in terms of personality and work. He was taken under the wings of such giants as Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot, who form the basis of two fascinating portraits. Most memorable perhaps is his description of a meeting with William Butler Yeats at Lady Ottoline Morrill's salon that started out quite disastrously but was rescued by Lady Ottoline's desperate telephone call to Woolf. Not only does he describe the literary scene in England, but also the atmosphere of Weimar Germany, Civil War Republican Spain and World War Two England. Indeed we get a glimpse of the Berlin boarding house immortalized by Isherwood and later in Cabaret. As memorable as he is in describing others, Spender is balanced, acute and unsparing in his self-analysis.Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Victor A. Spooner on August 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I do not think that memoirs get any more personal, or more beautifully expressive, than Spender's. It is prose penned by a poet...wonderfully descriptive, and (almost alarmingly) frank. Within the first few pages, I became utterly convinced that Spender would have been ill-suited for anything other than a life of poetry.

I originally acquired the book after reading an excerpt in an old 1940s issue of Partisan Review, and I was fairly seduced by Spender's vivid depictions of the hedonistic tendencies exhibited by young Germans he visited just prior to the disintegration of the Weimar Republic.

Spender's insights into human nature, however, all so poetically rendered, were what I most marvelled at. The book also is packed with historical, political, and social commentary regarding the period in which he lived: Spender was an intimate of Auden, he aided Republican Spain during the Civil War, he was a Communist and a bi-sexual, and he served in a fire brigade during the bombing of London. Despite my own personal stances against his early political and sexual proclivities (both of which he apparently renounced in later years), I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Aside from a few eccentricities regarding punctuation, I seriously doubt that autobiography has been written quite as well as this by anyone.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By chainlink on May 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I wanted to read World Within World primarily for Spender's comments upon life in Germany's Weimar republic--the frightening shadows cast upon this time and place for later observers by the Third Reich and its inherent interest as a hotbed of ideological extremism and what Mill called "experiments in living" generally make it a gruesomely fascinating object of study.

It turns out, however, that Spender doesn't really have that much of interest to say on the subject. He notes the oddly (by English standards) popular versions of Modernism that flourished there--Bauhaus-type buildings without proper roofs, and lamps, chairs and tables made out of tubing, for example--and mentions the now obviously gayish body-consciousness of swimmers and sunbathers there (this is actually itself pretty familiar--I remember seeing an old psychoanalytical discussion of Germany's early youth movements that saw them as expressions of a kind of male homosexuality). And anyway, his friend Isherwood has, of course, been over pretty much the same stuff repeatedly.

I found, though, that the book was immensely interesting for altogether different reasons. His anecdotes of famous literary figures are uniformly insightful: he cultivates a Henry Jamesian intensity of focus upon moments of telling self revelation. His account of the formative historical/political tasks (primarily, of course, antifascism as movement, then as war) that imposed themselves upon his generation of writers and how they affected and infected their work is enlightening.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Search
ARRAY(0x99e6f90c)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?