This extraordinary 'mish-mash' opens up the creative workshop of Italy's great Romantic poet
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Edward Upward: Writer of politically charged novels and short stories who was a contemporary of W.H. Auden
Tuesday 17 February 2009
The death of Edward Upward at the age of 105 breaks the final link with that extraordinary group of left-wing writers who dominated English literature in the 1930s.
Friday 13 February 2009
WH Auden wrote that the central plot idea of the detective story is to threaten, then restore, the Golden Age. One of the strengths of Andrew Killeen's powerful historical thriller is that the Golden Age on display is one alien and yet terribly familiar: the Baghdad of Harun al-Rashid, as remembered through the lens of the Thousand and One Nights. Abu Nuwas, the detective here, is both one of the most important of Arabic poets – he wrote in Arabic, but was Persian by birth – and a character who recurs in several tales of the Nights. He was famous both for deep knowledge of the Koran, and for the way his verse subverted both classic forms and religious language to celebrate drinking, bisexuality and falconry: a sometimes licensed, often imprisoned dissenter from a regime which used orthodoxy as a tool of statecraft.
Thursday 15 January 2009
Sunday 28 September 2008
Monday 04 August 2008
"Tell Me the Truth About Love": Zoë Wanamaker made the request on behalf of WH Auden at the start of this lively "journey through Mozart's operas" in the Barbican's Mostly Mozart festival. The responses were many and varied. The Auden, for instance, was met with anxious questions from Cherubino, the oversexed page-boy from The Marriage of Figaro. And speaking of raging hormones, Simon Russell Beale then proffered a letter from the young Mozart suggesting that infatuation and marriage were somewhat confused in his mind, prompting Papageno and Pamina to contemplate domestic bliss from their different perspectives in the delicious Act I duet from The Magic Flute.
Friday 25 April 2008
If you enjoyed the recent Independent promotion of booklets on the "Great Poets", you should continue to keep at the cutting edge of poetry by subscribing to Agenda magazine. In her introduction to the new issue, editor Patricia McCarthy endorses the two kinds of art that WH Auden defined: "escape art", and "parable art" which "shall teach man to unlearn hatred and learn love". "Lauds" is another very shapely issue. Its engagement with celebrated poets is set by the sepia photographs from a private collection on the covers, confirming that Agenda always manages an original approach to even the most studied poetries.
Tuesday 15 November 2005
Monday 26 September 2005
Friday 23 September 2005
Saturday 18 March 2000
Friday 24 September 1999
Wednesday 04 August 1999
Monday 28 June 1999
Thursday 22 April 1999
Friday 02 April 1999
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