Among the major poets of his era, W.H. Auden was greatly drawn to the North. As a journalist, he toured his beloved British Pennine region by car and wrote: ‘one must have a proper moral sense about the points of compass; North must seem the “good” direction, the way towards heroic adventures, South the way to ignoble ease and decadence’. He expressed this sentiment, however, while spending his summers in the ‘South’, on the Italian island of Ischia, which begs the question, if the South is ‘the way to ignoble ease and decadence’, why take that way? This essay endeavors to answer that question through an analysis of some Auden’s ‘southern’ poems. The rootless Auden, who spent his life breaching the borders between the (American) northern cosmopolitan world and the (European) southern rural one, tried to combine what is hard to combine: involuntary forces and voluntary choices, nature and history, flesh and spirit, myth and progress, timelessness and time; in short as he told a friend: ‘Mediterranean life in a northern climate.

The Clash of the Two Cultures: North and South in W.H. Auden

CAZZATO, Luigi Carmine
2013

Abstract

Among the major poets of his era, W.H. Auden was greatly drawn to the North. As a journalist, he toured his beloved British Pennine region by car and wrote: ‘one must have a proper moral sense about the points of compass; North must seem the “good” direction, the way towards heroic adventures, South the way to ignoble ease and decadence’. He expressed this sentiment, however, while spending his summers in the ‘South’, on the Italian island of Ischia, which begs the question, if the South is ‘the way to ignoble ease and decadence’, why take that way? This essay endeavors to answer that question through an analysis of some Auden’s ‘southern’ poems. The rootless Auden, who spent his life breaching the borders between the (American) northern cosmopolitan world and the (European) southern rural one, tried to combine what is hard to combine: involuntary forces and voluntary choices, nature and history, flesh and spirit, myth and progress, timelessness and time; in short as he told a friend: ‘Mediterranean life in a northern climate.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/20414
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