Friday, April 24, 2009

Something is going to happen . . .

A Happy Birthday salute to Robert Penn Warren (April 24, 1905 – September 15, 1989), poet, novelist, and literary critic, who became the first poet laureate of the United States in 1986. He is credited as one of the founders of New Criticism.

Robert Penn Warren is best-known by his novel All the King's Men, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1947. It was the first of three Pulitzer Prizes he received in his lifetime. He received subsequent Pulitzer Prizes for two volumes of poetry, Promises in 1958 and Now and Then in 1979.

“There is nothing more alone than being in a car at night in the rain. I was in the car. And I was glad of it. Between one point on the map and another point on the map, there was the being alone in the car in the rain. They say you are not you except in terms of relation to other people. If there weren't any other people there wouldn't be any you because what you do which is what you are, only has meaning in relation to other people. That is a very comforting thought when you are in the car in the rain at night alone, for then you aren't you, and not being you or anything, you can really lie back and get some rest. It is a vacation from being you. There is only the flow of the motor under your foot spinning that frail thread of sound out of its metal guy like a spider, that filament, that nexus, which isn't really there, between the you which you have just left in one place and the you which you will be where you get to the other place.” - Robert Penn Warren

“This is not remarkable, for, as we know, reality is not a function of the event as event, but of the relationship of that event to past, and future, events. We seem here to have a paradox: that the reality of an event, which is not real in itself, arises from the other events which, likewise, in themselves are not real. But this only affirms what we must affirm: that direction is all. And only as we realize this do we live, for our own identity is dependent upon this principal.” - Robert Penn Warren

“The end of man is knowledge, but [man] can't know whether knowledge will save him or kill him; whether he is killed because of the knowledge which he has got or because of the knowledge which he hasn't got and which if he had it would save him.” - Robert Penn Warren

"Here is the shadow of truth, for only the shadow is true." - Robert Penn Warren

“Something is going to happen...” - Robert Penn Warren

Trivia bit: Robert Penn Warren is the only person to have won Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and poetry.

Warren image source (1)
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