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The Prolific and the Devourer

W. H. Auden

37 valoraciones por Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0880013451 / ISBN 13: 9780880013451
Editorial: Ecco Press, 1993
Usado Condición: Good
Librería: Better World Books (Mishawaka, IN, Estados Unidos de America)

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Descripción

Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. N° de ref. de la librería GRP29371665

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Detalles bibliográficos

Título: The Prolific and the Devourer

Editorial: Ecco Press

Año de publicación: 1993

Condición del libro:Good

Edición: 1st.

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Sinopsis:

W.H. Auden is unquestionably one of the most fascinating and influential literary figures of the twentieth century. His formal innovations in poetry and drama have immeasurably affected modern literary consciousness, as have his reactive views about political and literary trends. At the time he wrote The Prolific and the Devourer, Auden was moving away from his vocal Marxism of the 1930s toward a committed Christianity in the 1940s and beyond. The Prolific and the Devourer sheds new light on the personal and public worlds he inhabited, philosophically drawing the line between the position of the artist and that of the politician.
The book takes its title and, in part, its form from William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. In Auden's interpretation, the Prolific are those who produce: the farmer; the skilled worker; the scientist; the cook; the innkeeper; the doctor; the teacher; the athlete; the artist. The Devourers are the political types who depend on what is already produced for their well-being: the "Judges, Policemen, Critics. These are the real Lower Orders, the low, sly lives, whom no decent person should receive in his house." As in Blake, the sections and subsections of Auden's book are unified and propelled by the oracular need to express the key components of human nature.
The first section contains a series of aphoristic statements and personal reflections that usher us into the enormous territory to be explored. In the second section, Auden chooses examples from politics, religion, and literature to expound his views on human and historical evolution. The third section examines the characters of the Prolific and the Devourer in relation to Catholic, Protestant, and Romantic traditions and to Socialist and Fascist beliefs. The question and answer form employed in the final section allows Auden to reveal his inner struggle to reach some understanding of God, the supernatural, and pacifism.
At a time when spiritual and political values are constantly at odds, with the frequent result of violence, the questions of "being" Auden addresses in this book are highly topical - and his insights, invaluable. The Prolific and the Devourer acts as a tribute to the artistic vocation it describes - remarkable in its visionary breadth and craft.

From Publishers Weekly:

First published some 10 years ago in Antaeus magazine, this series of brief meditations was begun by Auden in 1939 and left unfinished. In it the poet seeks truth--political, moral, personal, spiritual--in cautionary reflections and finely ventured definitions that can sting with their meticulously objective slant, yet curiously passionate resonance. Auden will at times advise subversion, for instance, with the steely authority of a priest, but also seems only too aware of the pain that sinners--"all men are sinners"--must feel, regardless. He is most convincing when most palpably aware of the pain and the balancing of pain with the need for judgment. The mounting abstractness of Auden's discourse may be either blessed or damned, but it is exacting, and to some will seem irksome, too persistently high-minded. Yet from his struggles over art and politics, divine and human moral necessities, Auden tore--and honed--remarkably clear and committed thoughts, and they stick: " 'Work' is action forced on us by the will of another"; "Pure evil would be pure passivity"; " . . . intelligence only functions when the animal is unafraid"; and "To be forgiven means to realise that one has never been judged except by oneself."
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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