W. H. Auden's Public Art: From Poetic Reticence to Operatic Performance

  title={W. H. Auden's Public Art: From Poetic Reticence to Operatic Performance},
  author={Heidi Hartwig},
  journal={Text and Performance Quarterly},
  pages={367 - 382}
  • H. Hartwig
  • Published 1 October 2009
  • Art
  • Text and Performance Quarterly
W. H. Auden brought the matter of the homoerotic love lyric into a public form in his mid-century operas. This article examines Auden's æuvre through the lens of performativity as various attempts to formalize a homoerotic identity. I argue that Auden's Augustan propensities in opera—his sense of opera as a repository of civic art and the high style—are more fully understood against the backdrop of the strategies of the performative love lyric. Reading the civic thematics of Auden's operas as… 
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