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Article
Narrative of Distance and Exilic Melancholia in W.H. Auden's "Refugee Blues"
JELLiC: Journal of English Language, Literature and Culture (2014)
  • Oscar C. Labang, Kencholia Teacher Training College
Abstract

The paper is a textual inquiry into how Auden uses poetic and linguistic strategies in “Refugee Blues” to convey the reality of distancing and the profundity of the feelings of melancholy, wretchedness and rejection that typifies the existential condition of exilic people in general and Jews in particular. Using a Structuralist lens and Psychological theories of distance, the analyzes illustrates that the poem is an exemplar poetic discourse about the gnawing reality of an exile’s expectations and the actuality of living in a world where he is unwelcomed and completely cut off from any meaningful connection to that which he calls country (home). The analysis uses text-internal clues as functional elements that reveal the various levels of distance in the text and how they contribute to the intense feeling of melancholia of the exiles in the poem.

Keywords
  • Exile,
  • Distance,
  • Melancholia,
  • Auden,
  • Modernist Poetry
Publication Date
Spring March 31, 2014
Citation Information
Labang, Oscar C. "Narrative of Distance and Exilic Melancholia in W.H. Auden's "Refugee Blues"" JELLiC: Journal of English Language, Literature and Culture 3.1 (2014): 55-75. Available at: http://works.bepress.com/oscar_labang/2