Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Age of Anxiety: A Baroque Eclogue (W.H. Auden: Critical Editions) Hardcover – February 27, 2011
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"[Auden's] most significant piece of work. . . . [W]e have in W. H. Auden a master musician of rhythm and note, unable to be dull, in fact an enchanter, under the magic of indigenous gusto . . . . The Age of Anxiety assures us that fear and lust have, in faith and purity, a cure so potent we need never know panic or be defeated by Self."--Marianne Moore, New York Times
"The Age of Anxiety (1947), perhaps the finest of them all, tests Auden's ideas within the experience of modernity."--Lachlan MacKinnon, Times Literary Supplement
"[M]agnificent . . . . [and] enormously rich in allusion, sound, and intellectual power. . . . For pessimism and naturalism and virtuosity, The Age of Anxiety makes one think of Shakespeare's Tempest."--Jacques Barzun, Harper's Magazine
"[An]emotionally stunning work. . . . [O]ne of the splendid poems of our language."--M. L. Rosenthal, New York Herald Tribune
"Princeton University Press's new critical, annotated edition of The Age of Anxiety seeks to repair and renew contemporary readers' relationship with the poem. That it should triumphantly succeed in this task, however, has less to do with unraveling the poem's intricacies than with clearly showing how its many knots are tied. In an expansive preface and through rigorous textual notes, editor and Auden scholar Alan Jacobs outlines the circumstances of the poem's composition, traces the relations between psychology and religious belief as they play out in the text, and firmly situates the work in its historical moment. . . . It can only be hoped that this handsome new edition brings The Age of Anxiety to a new 'pitiful handful'. Those lucky few will discover in its pages one of the last century's great, and greatly neglected, poems."--Geordie Williamson, Australian
"This new edition contains an elegant, unostentatious commentary by Alan Jacobs, an American professor whose previous books include a cultural history of Original Sin."--Richard Davenport-Hines, The Spectator
"Elegantly printed, [The Age of Anxiety] is graced by [Alan] Jacobs's essay-length introduction, which traces the poem's evolution from the time Auden moved from Europe to the US in 1939 to its publication both in Britain (1947) and the US (1948)."--Choice
"This new edition of Auden's The Age of Anxiety under review here provides a timely occasion for the reconceptualization of the structures of the collective imagination in the era of global violence and viral media spectacle. Benefiting from Alan Jacob's revealing and comprehensive prefactory note, the volume invites concerted theoretical effort toward the configuration of a post-apocalyptic poetics."--Nigel Mcloughlin, ABC Studies
From the Back Cover
"Fascinating and hair-raising."--Leonard Bernstein
"[One of] Auden's outstanding American works."--Stephen Spender
Top Customer Reviews
The poem is largely set in a bar on Third Avenue in New York City during the Second World War, and it unfolds as the conversation of four of the bar's patrons, Quant, Malin, Rosetta, and Emble. Each character (based on a Jungian type) is given a prose introduction. For example, Emble is said to suffer "from that anxiety about himself and his future which haunts, like a bad smell, the minds of most young men, though most of them are under the illusion that their lack of confidence is a unique and shameful fear which, if confessed, would make them an object of derision to their normal contemporaries." And following this stage-setting, the poem explores its themes by way of the private thoughts and dialogue of these four conversation partners.
Any resolution the poem offers isn't straightforward or uncomplicated. But the poem does suggest, as the editor says, echoing Eliot's "Burnt Norton," that at least two of its characters "find only one still point.Read more ›
Firstly, having it in a separate codex from an anthology aids the 'i can do this!' factor, and a really quite handsome edition makes the experience additonally pleasurable. However, by far the greatest help, and what made the poem accessible to me for the first time was the guidance of Dr. Jacobs throughout. In both his introduction and his frequently extremely helpful end-notes, passages which I could barely make heads or tails of (that is, since I lack Auden's insanely broad erudition) turned into thought-provoking reflections.
About the poem itself -- Since anxiety is timeless (Cf. the Psalms), this reader found many of the character's reflections perspicuous, but then on a second level -- the poem revealed something about the zeitgeist in the years following WWII that I had never gotten a taste of before (I was born in 1986), and having tasted feel like I know something much more deeply about that era. Also: interesting to see which questions, once at large in a culture, are no longer around; i got the sense that we (this generation) are in even worse shape since few even pose such questions anymore, even though the conditions which prompted the questioning (the strangeness of a late-Industrial world) are still ever-present.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A book all need to read again and again...bring it out of the shadows where it has languished too long!Published on February 25, 2014 by Carolyn Boehne
It was what I was looking for. This book describes the psychic world of post WWII Western culture. The introduction by Alan Jacobs is quite detailed and helpful.Published on December 5, 2012 by Stephen Breck Reid
It's advertised as `the first annotated, critical edition of the poem'; which leads one, not unreasonably, to hope for something approaching a definitive text. Read morePublished on March 9, 2011 by Kevin Maynard