Biography Of W.H. Auden Essay

505 words - 3 pages

W.H. AudenWystan Hugh Auden was born in 1907 in York, England to George Augustus Auden, a distinguished physician, and Rosalie (Bicknell) Auden. He was educated at St. Edmund's Hindhood and then at Gresham's School, Holt, Norfolk. In 1925 he entered Christ Church, Oxford where his studies and writing progress without much success: he received a disappointing third-class degree in English and had his first collection of poems rejected by T.S. Eliot at Faber & Faber.In 1928 he moved to Berlin where he was first introduced to the psychological theories of Homer Lane.After returning to England Auden taught at a prep school, privately in London, at Larchfield Academy, a ...view middle of the document...

He was known for his vast range of intellect and the popular culture, current events and extraordinary variety of literatures, art forms and political theories that he incorporated into his work. He showed interest in Marx and Freud and he wrote passionately on social problems, in Look, Stranger! (1936).In 1935 Auden married Thomas Mann's daughter Erika Mann, a lesbian actress and journalist so that she could get a British passport.He then toured around China, Germany and Iceland, and served in the Spanish Civil war. These experiences he recorded in "Spain" (1937). In 1939 he moved to the United States, where his beliefs changed dramatically when his central preoccupation became Christianity and the theology of modern Protestant theologiansFrom 1954-1973 Auden became the Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets and divided his times between his residences in New York City and Austria. In 1965 he wrote a book of poems entitled 'About The House' which was techinically playful and intellectually sharp and witty with the poems in the book corresponding to the rooms of his Austrian house, his own ecological and biological boundaries.Auden also wrote opera librettos with the American poet Chester Kallman, who was only 18 when Auden fell in love with him, and who lived with him over 20 years. In 1972 Auden left New York and returned to Oxford, living in a cottage provided by Christ Church. He died of a heart-attack after giving a poetry reading in Vienna on September 29, 1973. Auden was buried in nearby Kirchstetten. Kallman died in 1975, penniless, in Athens.

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