Although the textbooks he edited with Cleanth Brooks virtually defined the New Criticism,Warren’s critical essays moved beyond close reading and frequently challenged the standards of high modernism when it came to assessing literary excellence. This was particularly true during the last three decades of his life, when his poetry also reflected a turn from strict modernism. His discovery ofWhittier’s poetry in the 1970s revealed new depth and unsuspected complexity in the work of that “fireside sentimentalist” and demonstrates how farWarrenwas prepared to go in fashioning a “newer” criticism.
Winchell, Mark Royden
"Understanding Whittier; or, Warren in the Aftermath of Modernism,"
Robert Penn Warren Studies: Vol. 5
, Article 12.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/rpwstudies/vol5/iss1/12