These letters throw light on a more complex figure than most readers will probably be expecting. Whether addressing his literary friends, who included Barbara Pym, Kingsley Amis and John Betjeman, or those less prominently placed, Larkin shows himself to be a frank and generous letter-writer. Confessions, jokes, advice, scurrilities, pronouncements on literature and jazz, impromptu verses, published here for the first time, gossip and wisdom abound in these pages. They offer a view of a poet's progress from brash youth to rueful age, and in complementing the poems, provide a biographical document for the serious reader.
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Philip Larkin was born in Coventry in 1922 and was educated at King Henry VIII School, Coventry, and St John's College, Oxford. As well as his volumes of poems, which include The Whitsun Weddings and High Windows, he wrote two novels, Jill and A Girl in Winter, and two books of collected journalism: All What Jazz: A Record Diary, and Required Writing: Miscellaneous Prose. He worked as a librarian at the University of Hull from 1955 until his death in 1985. He was the best-loved poet of his generation, and the recipient of innumerable honours, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, and the WHSmith Award. As one of Philip Larkin's chosen literary executors, Anthony Thwaite edited the Collected Poems, Selected Letters and Further Requirements. His own Collected Poems, drawing on fifty years work, was published in 2007.From Kirkus Reviews:
Readers of Andrew Motion's recent biography (p. 646) of Larkin (d. 1985), who's now recognized as one of the great poets of our century, won't be surprised by the revelations in this generous selection of letters. Larkin's misguided sympathy for Germany in the early years of WW II, his cranky xenophobia, his outrageous misogyny, and his devastating put-downs of other poets (especially Stephen Spender, Ted Hughes, and Vikram Seth) should also come as no surprise. After all, his problems with women, his severe melancholia, and his deep- rooted misanthropy are everywhere evident in the poetry. Not to be overlooked in all the disagreeable material, though, are the elements often missing in Motion's somewhat humorless tome. In his own words, Larkin is a constant pleasure--witty, slangy, and full of profound insight into the writers who matter most to him, from his early admiration of Auden, Lawrence, and Yeats to his later veneration of fellow plain-speaking poets such as Hardy, Edward Thomas, and Gavin Ewart. Heavily represented among the recipients of these 700-odd letters are Larkin's grade-school buddies, publishers, and a few solid literary friends. With his pals, Larkin indulged his love of vulgarity: A proud masturbator, he trades soft-core porn tips with his kindred spirit, Kingsley Amis, and with poet-historian Robert Conquest. Larkin's lifelong devotion to jazz surfaces not only in his numerous discussions of favorite albums but also in the rhythms of his prose. Most touching of all, though, is the poet's long epistolary friendship with Barbara Pym, a lovely testament to their spiritual affinity--they didn't meet until very late in their correspondence. Editor Thwaite (one of Larkin's three executors) never adequately explains the most glaring omission here--the poet's letters to family members. But to Thwaite's credit, he annotates with a light hand, ensuring that no one interested in Larkin or the course of modern poetry can afford to ignore this spectacular volume. (Illustrations) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Descripción Faber & Faber, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M057117048X
Descripción Faber & Faber, 1999. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P11057117048X