Professor Edward Mendelson of Columbia University now seems to own Auden country. The poet’s literary executor, he has edited The English Auden, the convenient selected Auden (Knopf), Complete Poems (Vintage), and now has well in hand the vast Auden Project underway at Princeton. Though the Princeton Hydrogen Fusion Project is on hold because of funding problems, the Auden Project moves smoothly ahead. Of The Complete Works of Auden, we so far have had Plays and Other Dramatic Writings 1928–1938; Libretti and Other Dramatic Writings 1939–1973; two volumes of the complete Auden poems are forthcoming. The latest offering, Prose and Travel Books in Prose and Verse. Volume I: 1926–1938,[1] is the first of four volumes of the poet’s miscellaneous prose.

Obviously the sheer scale is overwhelming,...

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