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Robert Penn Warren’s Submission of “John Crowe Ransom: A Study in Irony,” 1935

ISSUE:  Winter 2014

In 1931, Robert Penn Warren received free books in exchange for penning unsigned reviews for the Virginia Quarterly Review. However, his poems and stories were repeatedly rejected. Finally, in November of that year, he wrote the editor, Stringfellow Barr: “If my prose … is decent enough for you to print, my verse is equally, or more, so. Or, is a prose review regarded as merely a space filler in the Quarterly?” In his reply, Barr questioned Warren’s dedication to the magazine. Three years later, Warren began a correspondence with managing editor Lambert Davis, and the result was the publication of Warren’s seminal essay “John Crowe Ransom: A Study in Irony” in the Winter 1935 issue. Warren remained a VQR contributor of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction for five decades. This manuscript is in the VQR archives in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia.

Robert Penn Warren submission


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