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Posts tagged "The Dyer’s Hand"


Auden’s Missing Mercy

The constant background of stress caused by a brand-spanking-new kind of plague, combined with widespread social unrest and a particularly contentious election year, have all conspired to put a serious crimp in my attention span. This has become particularly noticeable in my reading habits; it has to be good, like brake-squealing good, for me to […]

W.H. Auden on Humor and Caricature

A couple more memorable observations from The Dyer’s Hand: A sense of humor develops in a society to the degree that its members are simultaneously conscious of being each a unique person and of being all in common subjection to unalterable laws. We enjoy caricatures of our friends because we do not want to think […]

Auden on Heroes, (Christian) Art and Wishing the Iconoclasts Had Won

A trio of gems from W.H. Auden’s essay on “Christianity and Art”, which can be found in the collection The Dyer’s Hand: To a Christian, the godlike man is not the hero who does extraordinary deeds, but the holy man, the saint, who does good deeds. But the gospel defines a good deed as one […]