Preface ix Acknowledgements xi Introduction xiii The Text of This Edition xli ESSAYS AND REVIEWS, 1963-1966 Foreword to The Plough and the Pen 3 Telling Tales 5 Adam as a Welshman 11 Beyond Politics 15 An Improbable Life 19 Introduction to The Art of Eating, by M. F. K. Fisher 37 Introduction to The Protestant Mystics 42 [To Benjamin Britten on His Fiftieth Birthday] 65 Louis MacNeice 66 Louis MacNeice: A Memorial Address 69 A Symposium on W. H. Auden's "A Change of Air" 73 Foreword to W. H. Auden: A Bibliography, by B. C. Bloomfield 78 Introduction to Selected Poems, by Louis MacNeice 80 Foreword to Markings, by Dag Hammarskjold 81 Introduction to The Sonnets, by William Shakespeare 92 Speaking of Books 109 Private Poet 112 A Short Defense of Poetry 117 Preface to The Tree and the Master 120 T. S. Eliot, O.M.: A Tribute 122 Behaviour, Action and Enchantment 124 President's Address 132 As It Seemed to Us 134 The Corruption of Innocent Neutrons 160 Mozart in the Stacks 164 A Word from W. H. Auden 165 One of the Family 166 Books of the Year: A Personal Choice 178 Introduction to Nineteenth-Century British Minor Poets 179 Foreword to Antiworlds, by Andrei Voznesensky 185 Introduction to Selected Poetry and Prose, by George Gordon, Lord Byron 187 Noah Greenberg (1909-1966) 201 Heresies 202 Nowness and Permanence 209 The Fall of Rome 214 The Worship of God in a Secular Age: Some Reflexions 229 Foreword to History in English Words, by Owen Barfield 233 Books of the Year: Some Personal Choices 236 Afterword to The Golden Key, by George MacDonald 237 SECONDARY WORLDS Secondary Worlds 241 ESSAYS AND REVIEWS 1967-1968 Foreword to No Man's Time, by V. S. Yanovsky 327 Good and Evil in The Lord of the Rings 331 Mr G 336 By the Grace of God and Henry Tudor, Archbishop 341 A Civilized Man 347 [Contribution to Attacks of Taste] 352 [Liner notes to a recording of Poems and Songs of Middle Earth] 353 A Don in the World 354 Foreword to H. A. R.: The Autobiography of Father Reinhold 359 A Knight of Doleful Countenance 361 A Very Inquisitive Old Party 374 Words and Notes 382 A Letter of Introduction 388 The Greatest of the Monsters 389 APPENDICES I Auden as Anthologist and Editor 401 II Lectures, Sermons, Speeches, and Dialogues 404 III Responses to Questionnaires 483 IV Auden on the Air 489 V Tributes, Citations, and Endorsements 510 VI Letters to the Editor and Other Public Statements 512 VII Lost and Unwritten Work 517 TEXTUAL NOTES Essays and Reviews, 1963-1966 521 Secondary Worlds 546 Essays and Reviews, 1967-1968 551 Index of Titles and Books Reviewed 559
Edward Mendelson is the literary executor of the Estate of W. H. Auden and the Lionel Trilling Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University. His books include Early Auden, Later Auden, The Things That Matter, and Lives of the New York Intellectuals.
A NewStatesman Book of the Year for 2015, selected by Leo Robson One of Truthdig's 2015 Books of the Year "Stupendous collections... [The Complete Works of W.H. Auden: Prose] is becoming one of the great achievements of current literary scholarship."--Fintan O'Toole, New York Review of Books "Wholly exemplary... Edward Mendelson deserves gratitude and unmitigated praise."--Seamus Perry, Times Literary Supplement "No one could take [Auden] for anything less than an extremely accomplished, fluent, professional writer ... As an editor, Mendelson is meticulous, judicious and quite extraordinarily thorough. To say that Princeton University Press, in producing such handsome and usable volumes, has matched Mendelson's editorial standards is to give high praise indeed."--Stefan Collini, London Review of Books "This rich horde, beautifully produced and meticulously edited, will be my bedside reading for the rest of the year and beyond."--David Collard, Times Literary Supplement Praise for previous volumes: "The articles will delight any reader with their wit, charm, and elegance."--Charles Rosen, New York Review of Books Praise for previous volumes: "When you add in the volumes already devoted to plays, libretti, poems, it becomes hard to avoid describing the whole enterprise as heroic. In fact it could also be described as unique, for no other twentieth-century English poet has been so fully and patiently honoured."--Frank Kermode, London Review of Books "The fifth and sixth volumes of Auden's collected prose ... Bring to a conclusion a project that began in 1996 under the meticulous editorship of Edward Mendelson. It is hard to find superlatives adequate to the accomplishment. The successive volumes, spaced roughly by decades and each running from some 600 to over 800 pages, include lively and detailed introductions, which end up forming a kind of literary biography of Auden as essayist... To add to the pleasures of editorial precision, the volumes themselves have been beautifully produced."--Eric Ormsby, Wall Street Journal Praise for previous volumes: "No major writer's complete works are more fun to read."--Publishers Weekly Praise for previous volumes: "A feast of language and insight."--Arthur Kirsch, Washington Post Book World "Where should the praise go for this magnificent edition of W.H. Auden's prose, now rounded off by its final two volumes? To the great Anglo American poet himself for having produced such incisive and memorable criticism? To Edward Mendelson, whose scrupulous editing calls to mind Samuel Beckett's phrase 'No author better served'? Or to designer Jan Lilly and the Princeton University Press for the elegance and beauty of the books themselves? One thing is certain: This is what scholarly publishing is meant to be."--Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Praise for previous volumes: "The only way to get at Auden as he happened, year by year, bit by bit, and not as he, or his later biographers, want us to think of him."--Tom D'Evelyn, Boston Book Review "Mendelson's editions of Auden's works are among the great achievements of modern literary scholarship and his introduction here is a masterpiece of the editor's tactful art, guiding readers through the heaped documents to those where the poet writes most significantly... about himself and his work."--Jeremy Noel-Tod, Literary Review "[B]eautiful."--Jon Sweeney, The Tablet "Mendelson's notes and appendices contribute illuminating, and sometimes amusing, extra-textual detail."--Michael Dirda, The Washington Post "Anyone who cares about literature will be grateful for ... The final installments of The Complete Works of W. H. Auden: Prose."--Leo Robson, New Statesman "[B]eautifully designed by Princeton University Press, edited with great care. No other poet of the 20th century has been honoured by this treatment. Perhaps no other deserves it."--Robert Fulford, National Post "W. H. Auden was a prolific writer. Volumes 5 and 6 of the complete works collect the prose he wrote in the last decade of his life. The essays and reviews illustrate the breadth of Auden's erudition, his engagement with a Christian ethos, and the clarity that belief brought to his world... These volumes, and the entire series, should be available in all libraries."--R. T. Prus, Choice "Princeton University Press is publishing [Auden's] complete works, verse and prose, in (by my count) 10 beautiful volumes, splendidly edited by Edward Mendelson... These two volumes of prose have only the unity of purpose embodied in Auden himself: his style, his turns of mood and phrase."--Denis Donoghue, Irish Times "[R]ange, brilliance, and unflagging energy show everywhere the imprint of a master."--William H. Pritchard, The New Criterion "If Mendelson's clarion call does not convert self-professed literature scions, nothing will... Research scholars and general readers will be swept away by Auden's range of reading and Mendelson's scrupulous editing. This definitive volume should be in all English departments throughout the world."--Subhasis Chattopadhyay, Prabuddha Bharata