SoSe 14: S-Culture-Gender-Media II: The English Auden
Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973) is considered as one of the most significant English poets of the 20th century. Although his literary career spans over almost five decades, his influence on his ... read more
Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973) is considered as one of the most significant English poets of the 20th century. Although his literary career spans over almost five decades, his influence on his generation and the public in general was most marked as 'the English Auden' - before the beginning of the Second World War in 1939, when he moved to New York and eventually became an American citizen. His poems of the late 1920s and 1930s are a substantial contribution to the political and poetical climate of the interwar years, also known as the 'pink thirties' or the 'devil's decade'. Many of Auden's poems have become classical in capturing, and sometimes directing, the mood and atmosphere of this decade, not least through his position at the centre of a leftist intellectual constellation, 'MacSpaunday': Louis MacNeice, Stephen Spender, Auden himself, and Cecil Day Lewis.
Participants will have to meet the usual requirements. Regular attendance and a presentation in class are obligatory. Since all coursework will be arranged in the first week of the semester, all prospective participants are expected to be present at the first session. In compliance with BA regulations, classes will be conducted in English. Assessment will be on the basis of regular attendance and the submission of a 4000-word essay.
A detailed reading list will be provided closer to the winter semester 2004-05. Auden's works are available in the following standard editions:
Auden, Wystan Hugh, Collected Poems, ed. by Edward Mendelson , rev. ed. London 1991.
- , The English Auden. Poems, Essays and Dramatic Writings 1927-1939, ed. by E. Mendelson, London, repr. 1989.
Carpenter, Humphrey, W.H. Auden. A Biography, London 1981.