FLOOD by Robert Penn Warren

FLOOD

A Romance Of Our Time (voices Of The South)
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Again Mr. Penn Warren has his way with a Southern town -- from the forlorn green with the statue of the Confederate soldier to the sightless shop fronts- but in this case the characters are lyric shadows from other Warren main streets, and the rotagonist is a half-realized remnant of the artist's ruminations. Learning of the imminent annihilation of Fiddlersburg, Tennessee, writer Brad Tolliver, accompanied by screen director Yasha Jones, returns to the home town to find in his roots the immutable, creative self he had lost. On wanderings through the town, and feverish sights, the past returns to Brad -- his tumultuous marriage to beautiful Lettice and its dissolution; the Spanish civil war and the Village; the tragic marriage of his sister Maggie, whose husband murdered her lover one night and fled away from life; the savage mystery of Brad's father whom he hated. During the long summer, patience, pain and gloomy dedication are made manifest through the outcast brilliant lawyer; the suffering Baptist preacher; a young Negro minister plagued by a clear vision of humanity; and Frog Eye, a swamp primitive, croaking doom upon the waters. A blind face of innocence (almost an impossible innocence) finally fails to shield Brad from his isolation. The symbolic characters are all familiar, and the hero's search for the life of the heart brittle, but Mr. P.W. can write up a storm.
Pub Date: May 18th, 1964
ISBN: 0807129186
Page count: 452pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1964




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