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Muir largely made his living as a critic and reviewer and was regarded by many of his contemporaries, notably T. S. Eliot, as the most discerning critic of his day. His criticism is collected in Latitudes (1924), Transition: Essays on Contemporary Literature (1926), and Essays on Literature and Society (1949), and posthumously in Edwin Muir: Uncollected Scottish Criticism (1982) and The Truth of Imagination: Some Uncollected Reviews and Essays (1988). Larger-scale critical essays includes The Structure of the Novel (1928), The Present Age, from 1914 (1939), and The Estate of Poetry (1962). Muir also wrote three novels, The Marionette (1927), The Three Brothers (1931), and the autobiographical Poor Tom (1932).

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Edwin Muir: poems, essays, and short stories | Poeticous

Between 1921 and 1923, Muir lived in Prague, Dresden, Italy, Salzburg and Vienna; he returned to the UK in 1924. Between 1925 and 1956, Muir published seven volumes of poetry which were collected after his death and published in 1991 as The Complete Poems of Edwin Muir. From 1927 to 1932 he published three novels, and in 1935 he came to St Andrews, where he produced his controversial Scott and Scotland (1936). From 1946 to 1949 he was Director of the British Council in Prague and Rome. 1950 saw his appointment as Warden of Newbattle Abbey College (a college for working class men) in Midlothian, where he met fellow Orcadian poet, George Mackay Brown. In 1955 he was made Norton Professor of English at Harvard University. He returned to Britain in 1956 but died in 1959 at Swaffham Prior, Cambridge, and was buried there.

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Muir was appointed in 1953 and received honorary degrees from Prague (1947), Edinburgh (1947), Rennes (1949), Leeds (1955), and Cambridge (1958). In 1958, he and Willa Muir were granted the Johann-Heinrich-Voss Translation Award. Muir’s Collected Poems, co-edited by Willa, were published in 1960 (followed by a further Collected Poems, edited by Peter Butter, in 1991). Selections have also appeared, edited and introduced by T. S. Eliot (1965) and Mick Imlah (2008). Muir is one of 20th-century Scotland's best-known writers abroad. To date, his work has been translated into 25 languages.

Books by Edwin Muir, The structure of the novel, Poems, Transition, Collected poems 1921-1951, ..
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One of the foremost practitioners of modern Scottish letters, Edwin Muir was born to a farming family in the remote Orkney Islands. Forced to move with his family to the industrial city of Glasgow when he was 13, Muir held a series of minor and often grubby jobs before supporting himself mainly through journalism and occasional teaching. In 1919, he married Willa Anderson, and in his An Autobiography An Autobiography (1940) would describe their marriage as "the most fortunate event in my life." Willa Muir not only encouraged her husband to write but collaborated with him on numerous translations and other works. They were the first to translate the works of Franz Kafka (see Vol. 2) into English. Her own, moving autobiography, Belonging Belonging, is both an engrossing account and a minor masterpiece in its own right. In later life, Muir worked for the British Council, was warden of an adult educational college in Scotland, and served as visiting Charles Eliot Norton professor at Harvard University. Muir's poetry stands somewhat aloof from more flamboyant varieties of modernism, yet won the respect of both T. S. Eliot and W. B. Yeats. Often cast in seemingly traditional rhymes and meters, his verse depended on a vision, which Kathleen Raine described as "the perennial philosophy." Muir looked beneath surfaces of the world for archetypes of a primal and now-lost unity of the soul with the world. Sometimes he used the Scottish landscape and sometimes earlier mythology to convey his vision, as in One Foot in Eden One Foot in Eden (1956). Muir's criticism and translations are still worth reading as well. Among his critical works are Scott and ScotlandScott and Scotland (1936), Essays on Literature and Society (1949), and Structure of the NovelStructure of the Novel (1928). Though not known as a novelist, his most notable is The MarionetteThe Marionette (1927).

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Kinzie, Mary. “Edwin Muir and the Primal World.” In By Herself: Women Reclaim Poetry, edited by Molly McQuade. St. Paul, Minn.: Graywolf Press, 2000. Kinzie analyzes Muir’s poetry and discusses its relationship to An Autobiography.

Collected Poems and Essays on Literature and Society, by Edwin Muir. By Richard Howard. Collected Poems, by David Gascoyne

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Summarizing Muir's literary contributions in an essay in the New York Times Book Review, wrote, "At the time of his death, early in 1959, Edwin Muir had achieved the writing of three works that are likely to endure. The first of these, written in collaboration with his wife, Willa Muir, was the classic translation into English of Franz Kafka's short stories and novels; the second, his Autobiography—one of the best autobiographies of the present century; and most important of all, his Collected Poems. In retrospect, it is now clear that his singular, though unspectacular, dream-haunted imagination was of the first order." Similarly Summers, in a retrospective assessment in the Massachusetts Review, called Muir's achievement in poetry and prose "larger than the merely literary. He did not share in the modern attempts to deify poetry, or language, or even the human imagination. Implicit in all of his works is the recognition that there are things more important than literature—life and love, the physical world, the individual spirit within its body: those things in which the religious man recognizes the immediate work of God. Muir's triumph was less in the technological realm of communication than in the vastly more difficult realm of sensitivity, perception, wisdom, the things which he communicated. It was a triumph made possible only, in the familiar paradox, by humility."