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.
Although Warren was best known for his novel All the King’s Men, the fact that most of these essays focus on his poetry attests to the urgency these poets and scholars feel about the need to call attention to this relatively neglected aspect of his work. Although their approaches and themes are varied, the pieces inThe 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.
James H. Justus received his Ph.D. from the university of Washington and is professor of English at Indiana University. With Don L. Cook and Wallace E. Williams, he edited The Current Voice: Readings in Contemporary Prose.
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