© 2011

Philip Larkin: Art and Self

Five Studies


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. M. W. Rowe
    Pages 1-6
  3. M. W. Rowe
    Pages 7-47
  4. M. W. Rowe
    Pages 48-90
  5. M. W. Rowe
    Pages 91-123
  6. M. W. Rowe
    Pages 124-166
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 205-220

About this book


Exploring the complex relationship between aesthetic experience and personal identity in Larkin's work, this book gives close and original readings of three major poems ('Here', 'Livings' and 'Aubade'), and two neglected but important themes (Larkin and the supernatural, Larkin and Flaubert).


bibliography death experience identity knowledge living poem subject

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of East AngliaUK

About the authors

M.W. ROWE was educated at Cranbrook School and Cambridge and York Universities. Before becoming Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of East Anglia, he taught at Pocklington School and Birkbeck College London. His previous books are: Philosophy and Literature: A Book of Essays (2004), and Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst: Virtuoso Violinist (2008).

Bibliographic information


"Mark Rowe's Philip Larkin: Art and Self brings a philosopher's specialism as well as a generalist's breadth to a series of close readings of Larkin's poems. Rowe draws on the full range of a considerable scholarship to illuminate the poet's work from a number of angles, demonstrating throughout the validity of his own claim that 'writing about Larkin is a profound and enlightening pleasure." David Timms, Professor of English, Bath Spa University, UK

"Mark Rowe is a tenacious and pertinacious reader, who brings to Larkin a well-stocked philosophical intelligence. I don't agree with everything he says, but quite often he shifts what Larkin himself wryly called 'Larkin studies' on to a higher plane" Anthony Thwaite

"[...] Memorable and eye-opening close readings [...]. Rowe has written a significant contribution to Larkin studies. Philip Larkin: Art and Self is not only well founded and subtly written but also enjoyable to read: it reflects the enthusiasm of the author and the pleasure of discovery. Scholars of Larkin and a wider audience interested in literature will find it equally stimulating." Istvan Recz, Hungarian Journal of English and American Studies