Useful for scholars and for admirers of Warren’s work who are very familiar with the author’s life and career. (b&w...

Ten years of essentially unrevealing letters from a formative period of the poet and novelist best known for All the King’s Men and as the first Poet Laureate of the United States.

This first in a series of volumes of Warren’s letters planned by editor Clark (English/Texas A&M) covers Warren’s college years, including undergraduate terms at Vanderbilt University and graduate studies at Berkeley, Yale, and Oxford (the last as a Rhodes scholar). The events in that period include an early suicide attempt, an abortive love affair (with a woman code-named “Albatross”), a collegiate scandal involving allegations that women were seen leaving his lodgings early in the morning, amused disdain for the politics and petty conflicts of the college community, and a commitment to poetry that was remarkable even in the midst of the burgeoning Southern literary renaissance (which would include many of the recipients of these letters). Chief among Warren’s correspondents was poet and critic Allen Tate, to whom Warren confided both personal and literary concerns, mailing carbon copies of his poems for Tate to criticize, and in turn commenting on Tate’s work. That pattern prevails with most of his letters to peers, as his correspondence expands to include critics, publishers, editors and other academics. The self-conscious collegiate cynicism fades away fairly quickly, making way for literate, sometimes charming (if often perfunctory) comments on his own and others’ work and lives. Only one letter to his wife Cinima Brescia, notable for its feeling, is included (few are extant); numerous letters to editors (often requesting money) round out the last chapter. The explanatory notes do not adequately fill in the gaps always left when only one side of a correspondence is presented.

Useful for scholars and for admirers of Warren’s work who are very familiar with the author’s life and career. (b&w photos, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-8071-2536-9

Page Count: 270

Publisher: Louisiana State Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2000



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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