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Saving Civilization: Yeats, Eliot, and Auden Between the Wars

Saving Civilization: Yeats, Eliot, and Auden Between the Wars
Author: Lucy McDiarmid
ISBN 13: 9780521269308
ISBN 10: 52126930
Edition: N/A
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication Date: 1984-11-30
Format: Paperback
Pages: 172
List Price: $44.99

'Saving civilization' was the grandiloquent cry of the 1920s and 1930s, This is a study of the various answers these three great modern British poets - Yeats, Eliot, and Auden - gave to the question of how a 'mere writer' could affect the world of his audience. The author concentrates on the years between the wars, a time when the pressure to save civilization was felt by poets and political leaders alike. The book avoids political labels such as 'reactionary' or 'leftist'. Rather, it analyses the conflict the three felt between a civic urge to become engagé and an artistic need to remain disengaged. Dr McDiarmid traces the story of the different ideals the poets formulated in response to the fragmentation and anxiety of the modern world. Yeats, Eliot and Auden experienced a simultaneous disillusionment over political goals and a triumphant rededication to artistic ones. Their realistic adjustments to the limiting conditions of the twentieth century are sensitively described in a work that has immediate interest and permanent value.