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PHILIP LARKIN (1922-1985) was an English poet, novelist and librarian.  His poems are marked by what biographer Andrew Motion calls a very English, glum accuracy about emotions, places, and relationships.  Recurring themes and subjects include death and fatalism, as in his final major poem "Aubade".  Eric Homberger (echoing Randall Jarrell) called him "the saddest heart in the post-war supermarket" (Larkin himself said that deprivation for him was what daffodils were for Wordsworth).

Larkin was a notable critic of modernism in contemporary art and literature.  His scepticism is at its most nuanced and illuminating in REQUIRED WRITING (1982), a collection of his book reviews and essays, and at its most inflamed and polemical in his Introduction to "All What Jazz" (included in the above), which contains an attack on modern jazz that widens into a wholesale critique of modernism in the arts.  Despite the reputation Larkin not unwillingly acquired as an enemy of modernism, recent critical assessments of Larkin's writings have identified them as possessing some modernist characteristics.

In 2003, almost two decades after his death, Larkin was chosen as "the nation's best-loved poet" in a survey by the Poetry Book Society, and in 2008 The Times named Larkin as the greatest British post-war writer.


The following books are in ePUB format unless otherwise noted:


                                   == POETRY ==

* Complete Poems (Faber, 2012).  Edited by Archie Burnett.

* High Windows (Faber, 2012)

* Poems (Faber, 2012).  Selected and introduced by Martin Amis.

* Whitsun Weddings, The (Faber, 2010)


                                   == FICTION ==

* Girl in Winter, A (Faber, 2012)

* Jill (Faber, 2012)


                            == LETTERS & NON-FICTION ==

* Art of Poetry, No. 30 (Paris Review, Summer 1982).  Interview by Richard Phillips. -- PDF

* Jazz Writings: Essays and Reviews, 1940-84 (Continuum, 2004).  Edited by Richard Palmer and John White. -- PDF

* Letters to Monica (Faber, 2012).  Edited by Anthony Thwaite.

* Required Writing: Miscellaneous Pieces, 1955-1982 (Faber, 2012)

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