Saturday, March 03, 2007

Poet. Queer. Spy?

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI first "met" Auden, in the pop sense, when one of the first gay books I ever bought was about his relationship with Chester Kallman. Called "Auden in Love", and written by Dorothy J. Farnum, the book made an indelible impression on me of the man himself.

His was quite a scandalous life, although he seemed to take the being gay part of it pretty well in stride, which for those days was a considerable feat indeed. Together with his childhood friend Christopher Isherwood, he seemed to defy the limitations society imposed upon him as a despised minority by being totally blase about the one thing most people hated him for, and instead of letting that destroy him he turned it into art. His life meanders through postwar Anglo-American letters like a silver thread, and his occasional guest appearances in my daily work (such as this one) help keep me connected to the idealistic young queer poet spy I used to want to be.

[S O U R C E]

Or to find out more about W. H. Auden...
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