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Abstract

Robert Penn Warren’s career and canon demonstrate his more than casual interest in photography, much like those of several contemporaries in the Southern Renaissance. Warren’s 1972 essay about photographer Walker Evans recalls how photographs in the 1930s opened the emerging writer’s imagination to the power inherent in any art form to revise commonplace perceptions of social and subjective reality. Evans and many other photographers thus influenced Warren in his use of photographic tropes for an artistic transformation of the visual art of photography into the verbal art of literature. My close readings of recreated photographs in several major works of Warren’s fiction and poetry are focused on their texts and contexts within thematic considerations of time and death.

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