‘But whenever society breaks up into classes, sects, townspeople and peasants, rich and poor, literature suffers. There is writing for the gentle and writing for the simple, for the highbrown and the lowbrow; the latter gets cruder and coarser, the former more and more refined. And so, today, writing gets shut up in a circle of clever people writing about themselves for themselves, or ekes out an underworld existence, cheap and nasty. Talent does not die out, but it can’t make itself understood. Since the underlying reason for writing is to bridge the gull between one person and another, as the sense of loneliness increases, more and more books are written by more and more people, most of them with little or no talent. Forests are cut down, rivers of ink absorbed, but the lust tot write is still unsatisfied. What is going to happen? If it were only a question of writing it wouldn’t matter; but it is an index of our health. It’s not only books, but our lives, that are to pot.’
Wystan Hughes Auden, An Outline for Boys and Girls and their parents (ed. by Naomi Mitchison; London, 1932)
De kleine Auden (kleinste van de drie) op vakantie in Rhayader, Wales, tijdens de Grote Oorlog.
Met Erika Mann. Hij huwde met haar om haar een Engels paspoort te bezorgen.