Complete Works of W. H. Auden : Prose : Volume VI, 1969-1973
This sixth and final volume of W. H. Auden’s prose displays a great writer’s mind in its full maturity of wisdom, learning, and emotional and moral intelligence. It contains the full text of the only book that he regarded as an autobiography, A Certain World, in which he portrayed himself by selecting and commenting on writings by others that most affected him throughout his life. It also features late essays and reviews that in many cases present lightly disguised autobiographies, among them the most detailed account of his sexuality, in “Papa Was a Wise Old Sly-Boots.” The appendixes gather lectures and public talks that are otherwise unpublished or unavailable.
Edward Mendelson’s comprehensive notes provide biographical and historical explanations of obscure references. The text includes corrections and revisions that Auden marked in personal copies of his work and that are published here for the first time.