Synopses & Reviews
Robert Penn Warren was unique among twentieth-century American writers for having achieved excellence in a broad and assorted range of genres: poems, novels, plays, critical works, historical essays, personal essays, biography, and innovative textbooks. In this collection of essays, critics and poets -- among the finest Warren scholars -- assess Warren's legacy within his various genres and illuminate his centrality to twentieth-century American culture.
The diversity of approaches in this collection mirrors the rich variety of Warren's career. Contributors discuss: Warren as a mentor for writers and readers of prose and poetry, as a moral philosopher, as a "southern" poet, and as a poet of New England; the influence of his experiences in Louisiana, Italy, and other locales upon his work; his influence upon younger southern poets; and the vital place of his legacy in American literature. Essayists include James H. Justus, R. W. B. Lewis, C. Vann Woodward, T. R. Hummer, John Burt, Ernest Suarez, Dave Smith, Lewis P. Simpson, James A. Grimshaw, Jr., Lucy Ferriss, Deborah Wilson, and Victor Strandberg.
Although their approaches and themes are varied, the pieces in The Legacy of Robert Penn Warren are united in their assertion that the writer's true legacy is that he was, in a century of increasing specialization, a myriad-minded Renaissance man.