The Orators: An English Study

(1932; revised 1934, 1966) is a nearly unclassifiable work in prose and verse by W. H. Auden. The English poet wrote it at the age of 24 in 1931, at Helensburgh, Scotland, where he was employed as a resident schoolmaster at Larchfield Academy – officially a Public School, reduced in practice to the functions of a prep school. His second published book, it can be regarded either as a single long poem with prose elements, or as an experimental dossier of poems and of varied prose pieces: parodic speeches, mock prayers, surrealistic catalogues, fictional diary entries, and even diagrams. This medley is loosely held together by obscure private mythologies of leadership, hero-worship, collective neurosis, espionage, homosexuality, and conspiratorial secrecy. Its…

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Citation: Baldick, Chris. "The Orators". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 05 June 2019 [, accessed 22 April 2024.]

4 The Orators 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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