New Selected Journals, 1939-1995 by Stephen Spender

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews

It has to be said that Spender's journals aren't as entertaining as Isherwood's diaries.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Private faces in public places
Are wiser and nicer
Than public faces in private places.

W.H. Auden, dedication to Stephen Spender, 1932

Stephen Spender wrote almost a million words of journal entries between his September Journal in 1939 and his death in 1995. In choosing from these voluminous journals for the new edition, the editors have tried to provide a picture of the various lives Spender brought together in autobiographical form.

The earlier 1985 edition of the Journals was overseen by the author, and it privileged his thoughts about poetry - his own and other people's. The new edition includes the final ten years of Spender's life and provides access to the more intimate thoughts and feelings of the private man, but equally documents his life as a public intellectual who played a part in shaping the European literary and intellectual culture of his age.

As we look back on the dramatic events of the twentieth century, we find that Spender was involved in many of them: the reconstruction of Germany and the construction of Europe (as Unesco's first Literary Councillor), the development of the cultural Cold War (as editor of Encounter), the founding of Israel, the anti-Vietnam movement in America. The Journals provide a personal version of sixty turbulent years of the twentieth century, hovering between diary, autobiography and history.

 

About Stephen Spender

See more books from this Author
Lara Feigel teaches in the English Department at King's College, London University, and is the author of Literature, Cinema and Politics 1930-1945: Reading Between the Frames (2010). John Sutherland is Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus of Modern English Literature at UCL, and currently teaches at the California Institute of Technology.
 
Published July 10, 2012 by Faber & Faber. 816 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for New Selected Journals, 1939-1995
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Blake Morrison on Aug 03 2012

...agonised self-consciousness is an endearing feature of these journals, spanning more than 50 years and including personal material that hasn't appeared before.

Read Full Review of New Selected Journals, 1939-1995 | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Adam Mars-Jones on Jul 28 2012

It has to be said that Spender's journals aren't as entertaining as Isherwood's diaries.

Read Full Review of New Selected Journals, 1939-1995 | See more reviews from Guardian

Rate this book!

Add Review
×