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Contribution to Book
Dissolving Landscapes: Auden’s Protean Nostalgia
Modernism and Nostalgia: Bodies, Locations, Aesthetics (2013)
  • Eve C Sorum, University of Massachusetts Boston
Eve Sorum begins by examining the well-known “anti-nostalgic” W. H. Auden of the thirties, but she then argues that we must rethink this categorization in order to recognize Auden’s later revision of the object of nostalgia. Focusing on “In Praise of Limestone,” Sorum contends that Auden presents a new object of nostalgia that speaks to his desire—and to a modernist desire in general—to embrace change even while adhering to a past ideal. Such an urge, the poem makes clear, has aesthetic and ethical implications: limestone triggers the homesickness with which nostalgia is etymologically wedded, and it also provides the foundation of a particular version of art and the setting for relationships based on acceptance and inclusion, rather than judgment.
Publication Date
Tammy Clewell
Palgrave Macmillan
Citation Information
Eve C Sorum. "Dissolving Landscapes: Auden’s Protean Nostalgia" New YorkModernism and Nostalgia: Bodies, Locations, Aesthetics (2013)
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