This sixth and final volume of W. H. Auden's prose displays a great writer’s mind in its full maturity of wisdom, learning, and emotional and moral intelligence. It contains the full text of the only book that he regarded as an autobiography, A Certain World, in which he portrayed himself by selecting and commenting on writings by others that most affected him throughout his life. It also features late essays and reviews that in many cases present lightly disguised autobiographies, among them the most detailed account of his sexuality, in "Papa Was a Wise Old Sly-Boots." The appendixes gather lectures and public talks that are otherwise unpublished or unavailable.
Edward Mendelson’s comprehensive notes provide biographical and historical explanations of obscure references. The text includes corrections and revisions that Auden marked in personal copies of his work and that are published here for the first time.
Edward Mendelson is the literary executor of the Estate of W. H. Auden and the Lionel Trilling Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. His books include Early Auden, Later Auden, The Things That Matter, and Lives of the New York Intellectuals.
"Stupendous collections. . . . [The Complete Works of W.H. Auden: Prose] is becoming one of the great achievements of current literary scholarship."--Fintan O'Toole, New York Review of Books
"Wholly exemplary. . . . Edward Mendelson deserves gratitude and unmitigated praise."--Seamus Perry, Times Literary Supplement
"No one could take [Auden] for anything less than an extremely accomplished, fluent, professional writer . . . As an editor, Mendelson is meticulous, judicious and quite extraordinarily thorough. To say that Princeton University Press, in producing such handsome and usable volumes, has matched Mendelson's editorial standards is to give high praise indeed."--Stefan Collini, London Review of Books
"This rich horde, beautifully produced and meticulously edited, will be my bedside reading for the rest of the year and beyond."--David Collard, Times Literary Supplement
Praise for previous volumes: "The articles will delight any reader with their wit, charm, and elegance."--Charles Rosen, New York Review of Books
Praise for previous volumes: "When you add in the volumes already devoted to plays, libretti, poems, it becomes hard to avoid describing the whole enterprise as heroic. In fact it could also be described as unique, for no other twentieth-century English poet has been so fully and patiently honoured."--Frank Kermode, London Review of Books
Table of Contents