77. Louis MacNeice - Autumn Journal


In this episode of Backlisted, Andy and John are joined by Samuel West, actor, director and narrator, most recently on our screens as Geoffrey Ponting in the film adaption of Ian MacEwan’s On Chesil Beach and Anthony Eden in the Oscar nominated Darkest Hour; and Sophie Ratcliffe, writer, critic and academic, associate professor of English at Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford and editor of P.G. Wodehouse’s letters, whose new book The Lost Properties of Love is out from HarperCollins in 2019. They are here to talk about Louis MacNeice’s Autumn Journal, a book-length poem in 24 stanzas, first published by Faber & Faber in 1939. This episode also features John being charmed by Katharine Kilalea’s short but brilliant debut novel, OK, Mr Field and Andy re-immersing himself in the inimitable world of writer Francis Plug, in Francis Plug: Writer in Residence by Paul Ewen, published by Galley Beggar Press.

Books mentioned:

Louis MacNeice - Autumn Journal; Collected Poems; The Burning Perch
Andy Miller - The Kinks are The Village Green Preservation Society
Sophie Ratcliffe - The Lost Properties of Love; P.G. Wodehouse: A Life in Letters
Katharine Kilalea - Ok, Mr Field
Paul Ewen - Francis Plug: Writer in Residence; Francis Plug: How to be a Public Author
Jack Hides (ed) - Touched with Fire: An Anthology of Poems
Alan Bennett - Six Poets: Hardy to Larkin
T.S. Eliot - Four Quartets
W.H. Auden - Collected Poems
Karl Ove Knausgaard - Autumn

Other links:

On Chesil Beach DVD
Darkest Hour DVD
Howards End DVD (Merchant/Ivory adaptation)
The Kinks are The Village Green Preservation Society 50th anniversary exhibition at Proud Galleries
Louis MacNeice - ‘Les Sylphides’ on Ampersand blog
Sam West reading extracts from Autumn Journal on BBC Radio in 2002, music by Gary Yershon
Interviews with Nancy Spender and John Betjeman from Archive on 4 - In The Dark Tower: Louis MacNeice at the BBC
MacNeice's production of The Dark Tower from 1946, music by Benjamin Britten
Louis MacNeice’s blurb for Autumn Journal (from Contemporary Poetry Review)
Louis MacNeice - ‘Train to Dublin’ on the Poetic Quotidian blog
Louis MacNeice speaks about, and recites, ‘Bagpipe Music’