On Thursday, February 9th at 6:30 pm EST the Department of Comparative Literature will host Auden and the Muse of History, a Poetics & Theory conversation between Susannah Gottlieb, Susan Bernstein, and Benjamin Lewis Robinson about Professor Gottlieb's book Auden and the Muse of History (Stanford UP, 2022)!
This in-person event is open to the public—advance registration is required: RSVP HERE.
The event will be followed by a reception at Some Good Wine.
Click here to download the excerpt of the book that will be discussed.
On Auden and the Muse of History:
Concentrating on W. H. Auden’s work from the late 1930s, when he seeks to understand the poet’s responsibility in the face of a triumphant fascism, to the late 1950s, when he discerns an irreconcilable “divorce” between poetry and history in light of industrialized murder, this startling new study reveals the intensity of the poet’s struggles with the meanings of history.
Through meticulous readings, significant archival findings, and critical reflection, Susannah Young-ah Gottlieb presents a new image and understanding of Auden’s achievement and reveals how his version of modernism illuminates urgent contemporary issues and theoretical paradigms: from the meaning of marriage equality to the persistence of fascism; from critical theory to psychoanalysis; from precarity to postcolonial studies. “The muse does not like being forced to choose between Agit-prop and Mallarmé,” Auden writes with characteristic lucidity, and this study elucidates the probity, humor, and technical skill with which his responses to historical reality in the mid-twentieth century illuminate our world today.
Susannah Gottlieb is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies, Northwestern University. She is the author of Regions of Sorrow: Anxiety and Messianism in Hannah Arendt and W.H. Auden (Stanford, 2003) and editor of Hannah Arendt: Reflections on Literature and Culture (Stanford, 2007).
Susan Bernstein is Professor of Comparative Literature and Professor of German Studies at Brown University.
Benjamin Lewis Robinson is Assistant Professor of German at NYU.