Lecture 23 - W. H. Auden (cont.)

author: Langdon Hammer, Department of English, Yale University
recorded by: Yale University
published: July 1, 2010,   recorded: April 2007,   views: 3783
released under terms of: Creative Commons Attribution No Derivatives (CC-BY-ND)

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In this second lecture on W.H. Auden, the relationship between art and suffering is considered in Auden's treatment of Brueghel's "Fall of Icarus" in the poem "Musée des Beaux Arts." Auden's reflections on the place of art in society are explored in the elegies "In Memory of W.B. Yeats" and "In Memory of Sigmund Freud," where Freud's "talking cure" is recast as a model for poetry-making. Finally, "In Praise of Limestone" is considered as a late allegorical vision of a secular, non-transcendental earthly paradise.

Reading assignment:

W. H. Auden: "The Unknown Citizen," "September 1, 1939," "In Memory of Sigmund Freud," "In Praise of Limestone," "The Shield of Achilles," "Jumbled in the common box...," "Atlantis," "At the Grave of Henry James"

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