Departmental Bulletin Paper ルイ・マクニースの1930年代詩作品と〈交信〉としての詩の理想
Louis MacNeice's Poems in the 1930s and the Idea of Poetry as "Communication"

五十嵐, 奈央

18pp.1 - 23 , 2015-03-31 , 『年報 地域文化研究』編集委員会 , 東京大学大学院総合文化研究科地域文化研究専攻
The poems written by Louis MacNeice in the 1930s often deal with social problems in contemporary England. It can be considered that a loss of individuality was one of the most serious concerns amongst them, with its relation to the rise of Communism. Although a considerable number of intellectuals including young poets and writers in England became communist, it is difficult to categorise MacNeice as belonging to the Left, as he expressed his suspicion about the sustainability of the trend and questioned the communists’ idea of subsuming one’s individuality in a group ideology. However, it is also true that MacNeice recognised that the individualist’s escapism and epicureanism should no longer be possessed by poets. He suggests that individuals choose action with others. In relation to this, what is notable in MacNeice’s poems is the various forms of “communication” between the speaker and others. He wrote several poems of a similar nature, in which the speaker mentions the personal experience shared with his lover after hinting of approaching danger. Analysing those poems, it can be seen that the speaker’s verbal message for a particular person is aimed at soothing his anxiety about contemporary society. The poem-sequence Autumn Journal (1939) proves this tendency. Particularly notable are the sections in which the poet directly mentions the Munich Agreement – the biggest political upheaval in 1938 – and depicts how a person’s private life and the public events were intermingled. It is revealed that the desire for the union with others was based on MacNeice’s poetics rather than his political attitude. In his prose essays written in the period, he theorises that poetry itself is a form of “communication” with others, which means that the poet should be a mediator between information and readers. This concept defies the existing view of poetry as something isolated from society. Therefore, the aspects of “communication” in MacNeice’s poems in the thirties can be said to reflect his attempt to integrate the poet into society as a whole.

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