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Wystan Hugh Auden, a British-American poet, is a major figure in the twentieth century literary world. His poetry was often jargon-like and riddle-like, and he had erotic interests. He was also married to the novelist Erika Mann.
Auden's early poetry was riddle-like
Early Auden poems are known for their mysterious quality. They contain references that are private and enigmatic. However, later Auden poetry loses this mysterious quality but still deals with difficult ideas. His work is marked by a search for interpretation systems and this reflects his interest in psychoanalysis and Marx.
In the late forties, many people began to reject their previous beliefs. But few people understood what was wrong. Many jumped on the wrong train, which was Socialism and Communism. Others changed their religion, but few could understand why they were wrong. Auden was one of the few who changed his religious beliefs and became a Christian.
Auden's early poetry is riddle-like, and his personae are constantly in motion, forcing the reader to become a part of the poem. His view of life as a riddle forces the reader to become active participants in the poem, and he views poetry as an eloquent expression of mixed emotions.
Auden's early poetry was jargonish
Initially, Auden's poetry flirted with modernism. In 1932, his collection The Orators was published by Faber under T. S. Eliot's tutelage. Auden subsequently distanced himself from the collection, describing it as the work of a fascist and a madman. But this didn't stop Auden from continuing to write.
In his later years, Auden's poetry became more accessible. His poems were collected and rewritten, and published in two volumes. One volume collected his work from 1927 to 1957, while the other consolidated his work over several decades. Both volumes are anthologies, though some of the poems were written several decades ago.
Auden was born in York in 1907 and was educated at Oxford. In his youth, his poetic outlook was Tennysonian, and his early poetry incorporated elements of the Modernist movement and its tendency towards modernism. His work was influenced by the social, political, and psychological context of his time.
Auden's erotic interests
Auden was born in York, England, in 1907, the third son of a physician and a nurse. He studied English Literature at Oxford University. His early work alternated between traditional and modern styles and had a dramatic, intense tone. After graduating, Auden spent a year in Berlin, where he immersed himself in the city's gay demimonde. In his later poetry, Auden explored religious and ethical themes.
Many of Auden's earliest poems complain about not being able to find true love and sexual fulfillment. One of his earliest love poems, "Easily, my dear, you move," compares erotic love to feverish political activity, arguing that Eros and Agape are interdependent. Auden's erotic interests were further explored by his collaboration with composer and opera composer John Kallman. The two authors even collaborated on libretti.
Auden's marriage to Erika Mann
The marriage of Wystan Hugh Auden and Erika Mann was a controversial one. Both were critical of National Socialism. After the Nazi takeover of Germany, Mann relocated to Switzerland. There she met Auden, who later married her to gain a British passport. Mann continued to attack Nazism, writing novels such as School for Barbarians in which she attacked the Nazi school system.
In 1935, W. H. Auden married Erika Mann, the daughter of German novelist Thomas Mann. Mann, a lesbian, was a prominent figure in the German theater and journalistic scene. The Nazi party had threatened to deport her from Germany, and she had asked Isherwood to marry her.
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