Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Auden” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  33 ratings  ·  4 reviews
A masterful biography of one of the greatest English poets and most compelling literary figures of the 20th century, Auden is the first to take the full measure of the poet's achievements, his insatiable thirst for experience, his navigation between the needs of discipline and the lure of his addictions and lusts.
Hardcover, 406 pages
Published February 6th 1996 by Pantheon (first published October 16th 1995)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Auden, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Auden

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 82)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
"Auden rightly mistrusted this outlook that reduces aesthetics to gossip," writes this biographer in his prologue. "He loathed the trivialisation of literary biography . . . [and] was particularly shrewd to mistrust sexual tale-telling."

If this be true of Auden, I fear he would have shrunk from this particular account of his own life--an unfortunate and frequently graphic commentary on his sexuality. Nearly every page I read or skimmed (and I stopped reading once this became apparent) was almost
Chronological biography, tracing themes, influences, techniques and periodic changes in Auden's work. Things I learned: his fascination with industrial landscape, Freud, and Christianity; he wrote plays and librettos, collaborating with Stravinsky and Brecht; his antagonism to subjective, "confessional" poetry--ironically enough, the biography (necessarily) details some of the less savory decisions, positions, and attitudes Auden took, but usually with the purpose of investigating how he'd re-in ...more
A really fascinating portrait of one of my favorite poets, it made me return to my Collected Works, which is always fun, and illuminated a lot of the relationships that Auden alludes to in his work, without feeling like an extended gossip column (which must have been hard.) Not a fluff peice at all it gave me the impression that though I adore his writing and his philosophy, I probably would not have enjoyed spending any extended period of time with Auden the man. Also hilariously highlights the ...more
Malini Sridharan
Civilized gossip, cursory literary analysis. To be fair, that is probably all that would fit into 350-ish pages. In order to satisfy me, an Auden biographer would have to embody the best qualities of Robert Caro and Helen Gardner.
Liz is currently reading it
Jul 25, 2015
Joseph added it
Jul 01, 2015
John marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2015
Ian marked it as to-read
Apr 23, 2015
Ym marked it as to-read
Mar 29, 2015
Jody marked it as to-read
Mar 07, 2015
Cameron Stuart
Cameron Stuart marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2015
Dean Puretz
Dean Puretz marked it as to-read
Jan 07, 2015
Kyle added it
Feb 05, 2015
Beth Ruby
Beth Ruby marked it as to-read
Oct 01, 2014
Shanon Snyder
Shanon Snyder marked it as to-read
Oct 01, 2014
Ken French
Ken French marked it as to-read
Aug 12, 2014
Pat Hawks
Pat Hawks marked it as to-read
May 27, 2014
Richard marked it as to-read
Apr 08, 2014
Patrick marked it as to-read
Apr 01, 2014
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Voyagers of the Titanic: Passengers, Sailors, Shipbuilders, Aristocrats, and the Worlds They Came From The Pursuit of Oblivion: A Global History of Narcotics An English Affair: Sex, Class and Power in the Age of Profumo Gothic: Four Hundred Years of Excess, Horror, Evil and Ruin Proust at the Majestic

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »