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the experience of reading in Britain, from 1450 to 1945...

Reading Experience Database UK Historical image of readers
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Record Number: 20290


Reading Experience:

Evidence:

'Although Larkin had first read them [Auden and Isherwood] at KHS [his school], it wasn't until he reached Oxford that he began fully to appreciate their irony and ebullient detachment (he described Isherwood's first novel, "All the Conspirators", as being like "life photographed"). Eventually Larkin would praise Auden as "the first 'modern' poet, in that he could employ modern properties unselfconsciously". Reading him in St John's during his first term he felt: "Auden rose like a sun. It is impossibly to convey the intensity of the delight felt by a ... mind reared on 'Drake's Drum', 'Westminster Bridge' and 'Ode to a Nightingale, when a poet is found speaking a language thrilling and beautiful, and describing things so near to everyday life that their once-removedness strikes like a strange cymbal. We entered the land, books in hand, like travellers with a guidebook... 'Poems', 'The Orators' and 'Look, Stranger!' seemed three fragments of revealed truth... To read 'The Journal of an Airman' was like being allowed half an hour's phone conversation with God".'

Century:

1900-1945

Date:

Between 1 Oct 1940 and 1 Jan 1941

Country:

England

Time

n/a

Place:

city: Oxford
specific address: St John's College

Type of Experience
(Reader):
 

silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Type of Experience
(Listener):
 

solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown


Reader / Listener / Reading Group:

Reader:

Philip Larkin

Age:

Adult (18-100+)

Gender:

Male

Date of Birth:

9 Aug 1922

Socio-Economic Group:

Professional / academic / merchant / farmer

Occupation:

later poet

Religion:

n/a

Country of Origin:

England

Country of Experience:

England

Listeners present if any:
e.g family, servants, friends

n/a


Additional Comments:

n/a



Text Being Read:

Author:

Wystan Hugh Auden

Title:

Look, Stranger!

Genre:

Poetry

Form of Text:

Print: Book

Publication Details

n/a

Provenance

unknown


Source Information:

Record ID:

20290

Source:

Print

Author:

Andrew Motion

Editor:

n/a

Title:

Philip Larkin. A Writer's Life

Place of Publication:

London

Date of Publication:

1993

Vol:

n/a

Page:

43-4

Additional Comments:

n/a

Citation:

Andrew Motion, Philip Larkin. A Writer's Life (London, 1993), p. 43-4, http://can-red-lec.library.dal.ca/Arts/RED/record_details.php?id=20290, accessed: 01 July 2022


Additional Comments:

None

   
   
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