Making History: The Biographical Narratives of Robert Penn Warren

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From his first published book to his last works, Robert Penn Warren wrote novels, poetry, biographies, and essays based on the lives of American historical figures. Even some of his critical texts take a biographical approach to their subjects. In Making History, the first comprehensive survey of Warren's biographical narratives, Jonathan S. Cullick tracks a clear development toward autobiography in Warren's career. By applying narrative theory to that provocative trend, he then makes an intriguing discovery: Warren's discourse techniques dramatize his philosophy of history and ethics. Cullick unearths what might be called the ""narrative syntax"" of Warren's historical vision, in which genre becomes vital in the attempt to reconcile American past and present.

Making History considers all of Warren's major biographical narratives and their evolvement from detached reporting to doubtful self-examination. It offers a new reading of Warren's famed novel All the King's Men and close examination of several neglected texts, including Warren's first book, John Brown: The Making of a Martyr; his essay ""The World of Daniel Boone""; and two of his final works, Jefferson Davis Gets His Citizenship Back and Portrait of a Father.

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Louisiana State University Press
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