Copy Typed Letter Stella Musulin to Bruce Duncan 1985-11-29

AuthorMusulin, Stella
  • Mayer, Sandra
  • Frühwirth, Timo
  • Grigoriou, Dimitra
PublisherAustrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Vienna 2021
Source Information
  • State Collections of Lower Austria
  • Stella Musulin (Depot)
  • St. Pölten
  • 1985-11-29
  • Schloss Fridau
  • TEI Logo
  • RDF metadata
IIIF Endpoint(s)
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, .
                                        29th November 1985. The Revd. Bruce Duncan,
The Vicarage,
Devon  EX17 2AS.

Dear Mr. Duncan,

     I am a more or less retired journalist and author,
and am working on a memoir of W.H. Auden´s years in Austria
when I got to know him very well.   As he and Chester Kallman
were used to involving me in domestic catastrophes of various
kinds, Thester asked me to bring order into the chaos which so
often follows upon a deathöand in this case was acute because
of the total lack of comprehension between the anglo-american
side and the local Austrian authorities.  Hence my approach
to you; on enquiry I was given your name by the present
incumbent of the Chaplaincy to the British Embassy in Vienna,
Canon Phillips.

    Would you be so kind as to confirm that you took the
ecumenical service - shall Iscall it that? in the church at
Kirchstetten in October 1973, jointly with the parish priest?

     Do you recall the form of service used, and did John Auden
consult you about it?  I simply cannot remember, and alsthough
there was a long and magnificent passage from the NT which I
could have sworn was from Corinthians, reading through Cor.I & II
nothing seems to ring the right bell.  Then there was the burial
service. I am told that the whole occasion aroused a great deal
of interest here and was mkch discussed: so normal to the
British, in Lower Austria it was a sensation.  I should be
extremely grateful if you could find time to tell me anything
that you remember, and give me permission to quote you.  Not
everything about Wystan Auden was very appetising, his private
life was a mess.  But he was kind, generous and totally
unpretentious, and personally I was devoted to him.  It is

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

                            Yours sincerely,

                            Stella Musulin.

ecumenical service

Bruce Duncan is depicted, to the right of Anton Schickelgruber, in one of Stella Musulin's photographs of W. H. Auden's funeral.

External Evidence: ph_028