W. H. Auden's Moral Imagination

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Places Auden among several twentieth-century Christian writers who, as Flannery O'Connor said they must, pushed as hard against the secular spirit of the age as it pushed against them. It challenges the common assumption that Auden, after all else failed, reluctantly converted to Christianity. Instead, it argues that Auden became a Christian after discovering that he already was one.

"Bruce's study issues from exceptional grasp of and commitment to critical values that nourish civilization in its humane capacities and meaning. . . . One who reads Bruce's text will perceive a probing critical intelligence and integrity in work and word." - George A. Panichas


". . . he reveals with deftness and economy Auden's own response to the antagonistic dogmas encamped within his own intellect. And in doing so he reveals as well the virtues Of Auden as vatic poet, though vatic by indirection. . . . One will return to Auden with a new degree of appreciation of him as both poet and person given this exploration of his moral imagination." - Marion Montgomery "His monograph has not only the virtue of clarity and succinctness, but best of all, it allows the reader to clarify his own thinking and judgments and stimulates him either to read, reread, or read more of Auden." - Milton Birnbaum

"It is clearly written, devoid of jargon, and well structured. It charts Auden's moral journey and surveys the moral and political landscape of his period in brief, well-proportioned chapters which engage the reader's sympathy and involvement, spiritually and imaginatively." - Barbara Reynolds "With impressive research and thorough knowledge of the poetry, Bruce illuminates Auden: the early Auden groping with human nature and its attendant social problems; Auden in transition as he immigrates to the United States and returns to the Church; and the later Auden, whose changed concept of human nature changes his poetry. Bruce's argument is clear, his scholarly approach sound, his reading of Auden convincing." - George Musacchio

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Foreword by George A. Panichas
1. Auden and His Critics
2. Original Virtue: The Early Auden 1927-1939
3. Auden in Transition: "New Year Letter"
4. Original Sin: The Later Auden 1941-1973
5. Auden in Perspective
Notes and References, Selected Bibliography, Index of Names and Titles.

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