cover image New and Selected Essays

New and Selected Essays

Robert Penn Warren. Random House (NY), $24.95 (423pp) ISBN 978-0-394-57516-2

These 13 magisterial literary essays, dating from 1942 to 1973, by Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and novelist Warren, contain sevenon Coleridge, Conrad, Faulkner, Frost, Hemingway and Melvillethat were published in Selected Essays (1958). The other six pieces have not previously appeared in book form: studies of Hawthorne and hell-fire; Whittier's poetry as experience; the poetry of John Crowe Ransom; the complex feelings comprised in the writings of Mark Twain; a consideration of fiction as an imaginative enactment that can give us pleasure, and things we hadn't even known we wanted, without any painful consequences; and an exploration of the meaning of American history and what historians, economists and sociologists can learn from the past. The collection is more for students and scholars than general readers. (Mar.)