Typed Letter Stella Musulin to Bruce Duncan 1985-11-29
Musulin, Stella
  • Mayer, Sandra
  • Frühwirth, Timo
Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Vienna 2021
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Cite this Source (MLA 9th Edition)
Andorfer Peter, Elsner Daniel, Frühwirth Timo, Grigoriou Dimitra, Mayer Sandra, Mendelson Edward and Neundlinger Helmut. Auden Musulin Papers: A Digital Edition of W. H. Auden's Letters to Stella Musulin. Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2022, amp.acdh.oeaw.ac.at .
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0001                                         29th November 1985.

0002 The Revd. Bruce Duncan,
0003 The Vicarage,
0004 Crediton
0005 Devon EX17 2AS.

0006 Dear Mr. Duncan,

0007      I am a more or less retired journalist and author,
0008 and am working on a memoir of W.H. Auden´s years in Austria
0009 when I got to know him very well.   As he and Chester Kallman
0010 were used to involving me in domestic catastrophes of various
0011 kinds, Thester asked me to bring order into the chaos which so
0012 often follows upon a deathöand in this case was acute because
0013 of the total lack of comprehension between the anglo-american
0014 side and the local Austrian authorities.  Hence my approach
0015 to you; on enquiry I was given your name by the present
0016 incumbent of the Chaplaincy to the British Embassy in Vienna,
0017 Canon Phillips.
0018     Would you be so kind as to confirm that you took the
0019 ecumenical service - shall Iscall it that? in the church at
0020 Kirchstetten
in October 1973, jointly with the parish priest?
0021      Do you recall the form of service used, and did John Auden
0022 consult you about it?  I simply cannot remember, and alsthough
0023 there was a long and magnificent passage from the NT which I
0024 could have sworn was from Corinthians1/2, reading through Cor.I & II
0025 nothing seems to ring the right bell.  Then there was the burial
0026 service. I am told that the whole occasion aroused a great deal
0027 of interest here and was mkch discussed: so normal to the
0028 British, in Lower Austria it was a sensation.  I should be
0029 extremely grateful if you could find time to tell me anything
0030 that you remember, and give me permission to quote you.  Not
0031 everything about Wystan Auden was very appetising, his private
0032 life was a mess.  But he was kind, generous and totally
0033 unpretentious, and personally I was devoted to him.  It is

0034 my dim recollection that some verse or other in the Bible
0035 reading might help me to describe that amazing mixture of
0036 awe-inspiring talent and high scholarship, wretchedness and squalor.

0037                             Yours sincerely,

0038                             Stella Musulin.