By Richard R. Bozorth
The 1st full-length attention of Auden as a gay poet, this quantity exhibits that Auden's occupation was once tied to a strategy of homosexual self-interrogation unprecedented in glossy poetry and argues that he was once pushed by means of a strong craving to realize the mental, political, and moral implications of same-sex hope. Auden's theories approximately poetry within the Thirties and after mirrored an excessive crisis with find out how to write publicly as a gay poet. That fight used to be made occur in his love poetry, which Bozorth argues constitutes a type of "erotic autobiography" exploring the special demanding situations of gay love.Bozorth's procedure is manifold, studying the poet's engagements with avant-garde poetics, homosexual culture, psychoanalysis, leftist politics, and theology. This e-book proposes that from his early fascination with undercover agent and trickster figures to his later theories of poetry as an I-Thou relation, Auden considered poetry as a fictional yet primal erotic stumble upon with the reader.
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Extra resources for Auden's Games of Knowledge
He responds to the dynamic of the open secret not by revelation but by conflating revelation with concealment in a text of “secret openness” quite in keeping with Upward’s story. For a sense of unspoken realities pervades even the censored version of “The Railway Accident,” both in its obscure plot and in its style, which is so eccentric that we can never feel certain about the semantic range of any word. The result is a kind of readerly paranoia in which we finally suspect everything—including, as Isherwood says, the sanity of the narrator (Upward 34).
But in the context of a book with a small, close readership, its peculiar susceptibility to multiple interpretation is intriguing. Like many of Auden’s poems from the period, it projects the reader as an insider able to set this poem within some larger scheme. “Control of the passes was, he saw, the key / To this new district”—the definite articles, personal pronoun, and demonstrative adjective all put this poem in medias res, but do not specify the res. 25 This power, for which cruising would be an ideal analogy, involves the ability to signify duplicitously and to interpret with an eye to duplicity.
In The Orators: An English Study—easily the most avant-garde work Auden ever wrote—contradiction develops into what can rightly be called a queer aesthetic. Analyzing rhetoric as a public, linguistic analogue to sublimated homoerotic group bonds, The Orators implies that the discursive and psychosexual underpinnings of English culture are protofascistic. ” In the Airman, I argue, Auden personifies an oppositional queer aesthetic grounded in logical and discursive contradiction. For all its militant energy, The Orators also testifies to Auden’s doubts about avant-garde form: the madcap paranoia of the Airman’s efforts and the futility of his war against the enemy imply the ultimate impotence of politics-as-discursive-subversion.
Auden's Games of Knowledge by Richard R. Bozorth