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Robert Penn Warren

Uploaded by Admin on Jan 22, 1999

Robert Penn Warren, born in Guthrie, Kentucky in 1905, was one of the twentieth century's most eminent American writers. He was a distinguished novelist and poet, literary critic, essayist, short story writer, and coeditor of numerous textbooks. He also a founding editor of The Southern Review, a journal of literary criticism and political thought. The primary influences on Robert Warren's career as a poet were probably his Kentucky boyhood, and his relationships with his father and his maternal grandfather. As a boy, Warren spent many hours on his grandfather's farm, absorbing stories of the Civil War and the local tobacco wars between growers and wholesalers, the subject of his first novel, Night Riders. His grandfather, Thomas Gabriel Penn, had been a calvary officer in the Civil War and was well-read in both military history and poetry, which he sometimes recited for Robert. Robert's father was a banker who had once had aspirations to become a lawyer and a poet. Because of economic troubles, and his responsibility for a family of half-brothers and sisters when his father died, Robert Franklin Warren forsook his literary ambitions and devoted himself to more lucrative businesses. Robert Warren did not always have ambitions to become a writer, in fact, one of his earlier dreams was to become an adventurer on the high seas. This fantasy might have indeed come about, for his father intended to get him an appointment to Annapolis, had it not been for a childhood accident in which he lost sight in one of his eyes. Warren was an outstanding student but there were also many books at home, and he savored reading. His father at one time aspired to be a poet. His grandfather Penn, with whom he spent much time when he was young, was an exceptional storyteller and greatly influenced young Red. But both of these men whom he loved had in some sense failed to achieve. By contrast, Warren was determined to achieve, to be successful. During his college years at Vanderbilt, the sense of being physically maimed, as well as the fear sympathetic blindness in his remaining good eye became almost unbearable. At Vanderbilt University he met Allen Tate, John Crowe Ransom, Donald Davidson, and others interested in poetry. As part of The Fugitives, a private group that met off campus, he delved deeply into poetry, and his first poems were published in their short-lived quarterly. Warren had a remarkable capacity for...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   01/22/1999

Category:   Biographies

Length:   4 pages (1,005 words)

Views:   1514

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