"Understanding Robert Penn Warren" offers a comprehensive introduction to and commentary on the fiction, poetry, and drama of one of the twentieth century's most versatile writers and the first author to be honored as U.S. poet laureate. Grimshaw examines the writer's views about the primacy of self-knowledge and explores not only the painful and arduous path his protagonists must follow to gain such knowledge but also the interrelationship of his artistic endeavors, which were woven together by common thematic concerns -- history, time, truth, responsibility, love, hope, and endurance.
Underscoring the poet laureate's extensive achievements in the realm of letters, Grimshaw discusses Warren's focus on the universal concerns of society. While proposing that Warren comes as close as any writer of his generation to presenting a synoptic view of the human condition, Grimshaw draws primary attention to Warren's storytelling ability -- a talent he rates as Warren's greatest legacy.
JAMES A. GRIMSHAW, JR., teaches English and philosophy at Texas A&M University-Commerce. He has written and edited eight books, including Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren: A Literary Correspondence. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, and a Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. Grimshaw lives in Greenville, Texas.