What W. H. Auden Can Do for You

Kobo eBook available

read instantly on your Kobo or tablet.

buy the ebook now

What W. H. Auden Can Do for You

by Alexander McCall Smith

Princeton University Press | September 29, 2013 | Hardcover |

4 out of 5 rating. 1 Reviews
Not yet rated | write a review

When facing a moral dilemma, Isabel Dalhousie--Edinburgh philosopher, amateur detective, and title character of a series of novels by best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith--often refers to the great twentieth-century poet W. H. Auden. This is no accident: McCall Smith has long been fascinated by Auden. Indeed, the novelist, best known for his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, calls the poet not only the greatest literary discovery of his life but also the best of guides on how to live. In this book, McCall Smith has written a charming personal account about what Auden has done for him--and what he just might do for you.

Part self-portrait, part literary appreciation, the book tells how McCall Smith first came across the poet''s work in the 1970s, while teaching law in Belfast, a violently divided city where Auden''s "September 1, 1939," a poem about the outbreak of World War II, strongly resonated. McCall Smith goes on to reveal how his life has related to and been inspired by other Auden poems ever since. For example, he describes how he has found an invaluable reflection on life''s transience in "As I Walked Out One Evening," while "The More Loving One" has provided an instructive meditation on unrequited love. McCall Smith shows how Auden can speak to us throughout life, suggesting how, despite difficulties and change, we can celebrate understanding, acceptance, and love for others.

An enchanting story about how art can help us live, this book will appeal to McCall Smith''s fans and anyone curious about Auden.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 152 Pages, 3.94 × 5.91 × 0.79 in

Published: September 29, 2013

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0691144737

ISBN - 13: 9780691144733

Found in: Literary Theory and Criticism

save
28%

In Stock

$15.92

Online Price

$20.95 List Price

or, Used from $16.20

eGift this item

Give this item in the form of an eGift Card.

+ what is this?

This item is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25.
See details

Easy, FREE returns. See details

All available formats:

Check store inventory (prices may vary)

Reviews

– More About This Product –

What W. H. Auden Can Do for You

What W. H. Auden Can Do for You

by Alexander McCall Smith

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 152 Pages, 3.94 × 5.91 × 0.79 in

Published: September 29, 2013

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0691144737

ISBN - 13: 9780691144733

Table of Contents

Author''s Note vii
1. Love Illuminates Again . . . 1
2. Who Was He? 7
3. A Discovery of Auden 19
4. Choice and Quest 33
5. The Poet as Voyager 39
6. Politics and Sex 45
7. If I Could Tell You I Would Let You Know 55
8. What Freud Meant 65
9. A Vision of Agape 75
10. That We May Have Dreams and Visions 91
11. And Then There Is Nature 99
12. Auden as a Guide to the Living of One''s Life 123

From the Publisher

When facing a moral dilemma, Isabel Dalhousie--Edinburgh philosopher, amateur detective, and title character of a series of novels by best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith--often refers to the great twentieth-century poet W. H. Auden. This is no accident: McCall Smith has long been fascinated by Auden. Indeed, the novelist, best known for his No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, calls the poet not only the greatest literary discovery of his life but also the best of guides on how to live. In this book, McCall Smith has written a charming personal account about what Auden has done for him--and what he just might do for you.

Part self-portrait, part literary appreciation, the book tells how McCall Smith first came across the poet''s work in the 1970s, while teaching law in Belfast, a violently divided city where Auden''s "September 1, 1939," a poem about the outbreak of World War II, strongly resonated. McCall Smith goes on to reveal how his life has related to and been inspired by other Auden poems ever since. For example, he describes how he has found an invaluable reflection on life''s transience in "As I Walked Out One Evening," while "The More Loving One" has provided an instructive meditation on unrequited love. McCall Smith shows how Auden can speak to us throughout life, suggesting how, despite difficulties and change, we can celebrate understanding, acceptance, and love for others.

An enchanting story about how art can help us live, this book will appeal to McCall Smith''s fans and anyone curious about Auden.

From the Jacket

"Alexander McCall Smith''s voice in this splendid book is instantly recognizable as the calm, sympathetic, psychologically shrewd, and morally generous one that narrates his novels. This is not only a convincing account of W. H. Auden''s poetry and life. It is also a self-portrait of McCall Smith himself and a testimony to the wisdom and courage he has found in Auden''s poems. This is a valuable and memorable book."--Edward Mendelson, author of Early Auden and Later Auden

"The attraction of this charming book lies in its author as much as its subject. It will appeal both to readers interested in the novelist Alexander McCall Smith and to anyone who wants an introduction to the poet W. H. Auden. McCall Smith gives a vivid portrait of his personal encounters with Auden''s poetry and, in the process, illuminates some of its key themes and traits."--Alan Jacobs, author of The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction

Editorial Reviews

"McCall Smith restores the link between poetry and life, a link that encourages us to linger and reflect on every line or couplet. He demonstrates that Auden was capable of compressing a great deal of thought allusively into a few words, and suggests a technique that we can then apply ourselves. . . . The main point about this little book is that it will attract readers to Auden, and furthermore suggest what is now almost a subversive idea, at least among intellectuals, that literature is not primarily the fodder for unreadable treatises and suety theories, but a way of finding or deepening the meaning of our lives."--Anthony Daniels, New Criterion
Item not added

This item is not available to order at this time.

See used copies from 00.00
  • My Gift List
  • My Wish List
  • Shopping Cart