In All the King’s Men Jack Burden says, “I eat a persimmon and the teeth of a tinker in Tibet are put on edge,” but what could link a Finnish composer to a writer, forty years younger, from the American South? “The creations of American literature generally are no doubt more given to the speculative, − less given to the realistic, − than are those of English literature,” says Anthony Trollope in his essay, “The Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne.” “On our side of the water we deal more with beef and ale, and less with dreams.” Both Sibelius and Warren would have vexed Trollope’s distinction between the worldly and the speculative. Robust consumers of whatever beefs and ales, they both knew we’re all meant to dream. Against the odds of origin, that’s the connection.
"RPW, Sibelius, and the Dream,"
Robert Penn Warren Studies: Vol. 8, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/rpwstudies/vol8/iss1/5