By Richard R. Bozorth
The first full-length attention of Auden as a gay poet, this quantity indicates that Auden's occupation was once tied to a technique of homosexual self-interrogation exceptional in sleek poetry and argues that he was once pushed through a strong craving to realize the mental, political, and moral implications of same-sex wish.
Auden's theories approximately poetry within the Thirties and after mirrored an excessive situation with tips to write publicly as a gay poet. That fight used to be made occur in his love poetry, which Bozorth argues constitutes one of those "erotic autobiography" exploring the specified demanding situations of gay love.
Bozorth's strategy is manifold, reading the poet's engagements with avant-garde poetics, homosexual lifestyle, psychoanalysis, leftist politics, and theology. This booklet proposes that from his early fascination with undercover agent and trickster figures to his later theories of poetry as an I-Thou relation, Auden seen poetry as a fictional yet primal erotic come across with the reader.
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Extra info for Auden's Games of Knowledge: Poetry and the Meanings of Homosexuality
The social forces of censorship and the closet come together in the characteristic topography of Auden’s early work. 13 From the standpoint of sexual politics and social history, however, it is revealing that the landscape of “Auden Country” gained its famous atmosphere of danger and intrigue only after he went to Oxford. 14 Isherwood describes it in a well-known section of Lions and Shadows: Everywhere, we recognized enemy agents. . I was buying some clothes at a draper’s. “This tie’s rather nicer,” I said.
Qxd 5/10/01 14:12 Page 19 sexual politics and coterie poetry 19 the late 1920s has typically and rightly been understood to reflect a precocious absorption of high modernist technique. Auden’s embrace of modernism, however, also embodies an intricate response to a problem many other writers have faced: how to write public poetry out of the closet. In the work of poets as varied as Byron, Whitman, Dickinson, Hopkins, H. 2 If he never achieved celebrity on their scale, neither did he pay their price for testing England’s tolerance for open secrets.
For in parable, Auden first theorizes poetry as a noncoercive way of making the poet’s experience useful for the reader. qxd 5/10/01 14:12 Page 14 14 introduction to be a public poet, but an evolving effort to mediate his own particularities as a homosexual poet and those of readers. Dovetailing with his habitual coding of homosexuality as crookedness, “parable” implies the obliquity and indirectness with which such a mediation takes place. Auden’s anxieties about coercion and particularity inform not only his politics but his love poetry, which is the subject of chapter 5.
Auden's Games of Knowledge: Poetry and the Meanings of Homosexuality by Richard R. Bozorth