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ENG 2I06 Lecture on Auden.docx

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Department
English
Course
ENGLISH 2I06
Professor
Sarah Brophy
Semester
Fall

Description
British Literature 2I06 Lecture on Auden Monday, November 19, 2012. SWITCHING GENRES World War II (1939-1945) and its myths W.H. Auden's "September 1, 1939" & Film: London Can Take It! (1940) Definition of Myth You may have hear do Roland Barthes Myth does not deny things on the contrary its function is to talk about them it makes them innocent eternal and natural justification. One of purity. It gives things a clarity which is not that of an explanation but rather a fact. Myth acts economically when passing from nature. It abolishes the complexity of human acts. It gives them the simplicity of essences it does away with all dialectic with what is immediately visible. A world wide open...it establishes a blissful clarify. TERMS: PURITY, CLARITY, SELF EVIDENT (things appear to mean something by themselves ) Biography  Auden participates in myth making and is also skeptical about it.  He lived in 1907-1973  Like Orwell, he is definitely situated within the mid 20th century.  He was a poet, critic, and professor.  He travelled widely; including to Germany; Spain; Iceland; China  After 1939, resided primarily in the US  Critical and popular acclaim Aesthetic Signatures  Lyric voice ("I" Subject position; vs. Eliot's doctrine of impersonality)  Plain style (compare to Orwell)  Borrows from his predecessors (again contrast with Eliot; not fragmentation, but rather the close reworking of inherited rhyme schemes, metrical patterns, and topics)  Subject matter: love; modern history "September 1, 1939"  German Nazi invasion of Poland  Leading to national declaration of war by England  Grid of New York City and London  This is what we could call an occasional poem--written on a historical occasion  How does this poem recall, in both topic and form, Yeats' "Easter 1916"? Implications?  Sense of situating big
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