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'Your thoughts make shape like snow': Louis MacNeice on Stephen Spender

Brown, Richard Danson (2002). 'Your thoughts make shape like snow': Louis MacNeice on Stephen Spender. Twentieth-Century Literature, 48(3) pp. 292–323.

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The notion that the Left Wing writers of the 1930s formed an homogenous clique of interchangeable, mutually aggrandising talents has become one of the clichés of twentieth-century literary history. Roy Campbell’s satirical figure, ‘joint MacSpaunday’, typifies such accounts. Campbell’s amalgamation of MacNeice, Spender, Auden and Day-Lewis into a single careerist, cowardly poetaster has often been recycled as a convenient shorthand for ‘the Auden group’. Yet as influential studies of the period and the writers have shown, such accounts misrepresent the complex affiliations which existed between men like Louis MacNeice and Stephen Spender. This essay focuses on MacNeice and Spender during the early 1930s to explore two related issues: firstly, how MacNeice’s reading of Spender’s Poems (1933) shaped his own breakthrough volume, Poems (1935); secondly, how the observation of this relationship can help to refine understanding of MacNeice’s poetics at this pivotal stage in his career.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 0041-462X
Keywords: MacNeice; Spender; poetry; 1930s
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 2500
Depositing User: Richard Danson Brown
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 08:24
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