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00:00:02 - Getting to know Robert Penn Warren

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Partial Transcript: Mr. Unger, I'd like to, uh, begin by, uh, talking about--or hearing your recollections of your, let's say your first impression of, of Warren at LSU.

Segment Synopsis: Unger describes the beginning of his friendship with Warren. The two met at LSU, when Warren was a professor and Unger a graduate student. Warren's mannerisms in and out of the workplace are examined. A few of the literary projects that Warren worked on while at LSU are also mentioned. The dynamics of the English department are explored as well.

Keywords: Cleanth Brooks; Economists; English departments; Graduate schools; John Crowe Ransom; Louisiana State University (LSU); Modernism; Night Rider (Book); Robert Penn Warren; Understanding Poetry (Book); Vanderbilt University

Subjects: American literature--20th century; Friendship; Professors

00:07:57 - LSU and University of Iowa social scenes

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Partial Transcript: How about some of the other famous students?

Segment Synopsis: Some of the most notable LSU English students who came after Unger are mentioned. The social gatherings and parties of the Warrens are examined. Faculty and students alike were invited to these events. An instance of Warren's character at a party is given.

Keywords: Baton Rouge (La.); Discipline; Emma Brescia; John Crowe Ransom; Kenyon College; Louisiana State University (LSU); Robert Lowell; Robert Penn Warren; The University of Iowa

Subjects: Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, La.); Professors; University of Iowa

00:12:55 - Warren's first wife

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Partial Transcript: You mention that, uh, Emma Brescia ha--'s father was in California.

Segment Synopsis: The background of Warren's first wife, Emma Brescia, is explored. Her father and her youth in California are briefly mentioned. Her physical appearance and musical abilities are talked about. Brescia's apparent illness during her marriage to Warren are touched on. The marital problems the couple had and the repression of these issues to friends are elaborated upon.

Keywords: Arguments; California; Composers; Divorces; Emma Brescia; Illnesses; Marriage; Mr. Brescia; Privacy; Problems; Robert Penn Warren; Sickness

Subjects: American literature--20th century; Friendship; Marriage; Music

00:18:09 - Warren as a teacher / life in Iowa

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Partial Transcript: I have the, the impression that the teaching was really a very important part of his life.

Segment Synopsis: Unger recounts Warren's dedication to the teaching profession. Warren and Unger's friendship while the two were living in Iowa City is examined. An instance where Unger reads an unpublished poem at the time by Warren is given. It is revealed that many of Warren's friends had access to pieces that were in manuscript form.

Keywords: Editing; Iowa City (Iowa); Manuscripts; Robert Penn Warren; Teachers; Teaching; Textbooks; Vocabularies; Words; Writing

Subjects: American literature--20th century; Friendship; Poetry; Professors

00:25:08 - Decline of the Southern Review / Warren's friends

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Partial Transcript: Well, is there anything else about Baton Rouge that, um, I recall that would, uh, be worth going on the record?

Segment Synopsis: Unger gives the reasoning as to why Southern Review went out of print. He talks about Warren's friendship with editor Albert Erskine, Jr. and his former wife, Catherine Anne Porter. Other contemporaries and friends of Warren are also named, including a former Yale professor.

Keywords: Albert Russel Erskine, Jr.; Cleanth Brooks; Economics; Katherine Anne Porter; Louisiana State University (LSU); Pearl Harbor; Random House; Robert Penn Warren; Southern Review; WWII; World War II; Yale University

Subjects: American literature--20th century; Comparative literature; Friendship

00:30:18 - Traveling academic / wartime

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Partial Transcript: Then you were at Iowa City.

Segment Synopsis: Unger explains why he and Warren lived in Iowa City for several years. Warren's stints at Iowa, Louisiana, and Minnesota are mentioned, as well as the reasoning behind Warren departing from LSU. The circumstances for Unger's own hiring at the University of Minnesota are explored. The correspondence between the friends during the war is documented.

Keywords: Air Force; Cleanth Brooks; Guggenheim Scholarship; Iowa City (Iowa); Joseph Warren Beach; Letters; Louisiana State University (LSU); Robert Penn Warren; The University Of Iowa; The University Of Minnesota; WWII; World War II

Subjects: American literature--20th century; Friendship; Professors; World War, 1939-1945

00:36:58 - Life in Minnesota

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Partial Transcript: How about, uh--what did you--what was the situation then when you arrived in '46?

Segment Synopsis: Unger chronicles the social scene while he and Warren lived in Minnesota. Many parties were given by the Warrens, and the guests are described as well. The culture of the university and Warren's role in the English department is compared to the situation that existed at LSU. The environment of the university following Warren's departure is also mentioned.

Keywords: Allen Tate; Caroline Gordon; Emma Brescia; English departments; Faculty; Louisiana State University (LSU); Parties; Politics; Robert Penn Warren; Samuel Holt Monk; Students; The University Of Minnesota

Subjects: American literature--20th century; Education; Friendship

00:45:36 - Warren and Harvard and Yale

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Partial Transcript: Something I meant to say earlier, and while I think of it I should say it...

Segment Synopsis: Unger reveals that Warren had been considered for a position at Harvard, but was not offered a definite position. Warren's time at Yale after working at Minnesota is explored. The first position that Warren had at Yale is mentioned, as well as his previous experience in this field of study. An early production of "All the King's Men" in play form is touched on.

Keywords: All The King's Men (Book); Bennington College; Brother To Dragons (Book); Francis Fergusson; Harvard University; Playwrights; Poetry consultants; Robert Penn Warren; Yale University

Subjects: American literature--20th century; Education; Friendship; Plays

00:50:11 - Warren's wives and children

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Partial Transcript: Does anything else occur to you?

Segment Synopsis: Warren's children, and his admiration for them are explored. The opinions of Warren's friends on him having children are given. The literary inspiration that Warren's son and daughter brought to him is examined. The illness of Warren's first wife is also discussed.

Keywords: Children; Daughters; Eleanor Clark; Emma Brescia; Fulfillment; Inspirations; Invalids; Love; Motivations; Robert Penn Warren; Sons; Wives

Subjects: American literature--20th century; Friendship

00:54:05 - Warren and Shakespeare

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Partial Transcript: Something I've thought of, uh, years ago that comes to mind now...

Segment Synopsis: Warren's affinity for Shakespeare is explored. An instance of Warren reading Shakespeare to a group of women is given. Unger suggests that Warren's novels were influenced by one of the world's most famous and esteemed writers.

Keywords: Baton Rouge (La.); Influences; Inspirations; Robert Penn Warren; Study groups; William Shakespeare; Women's clubs

Subjects: American literature--20th century; Friendship; Poetry; Storytelling

00:57:34 - Unger and Warren

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Partial Transcript: -- an example of the way you're indebted to Warren?

Segment Synopsis: Unger relays how Warren has helped him throughout the years. Warren's hiring of Unger at the University of Minnesota is given as an example. It is also revealed that Warren encouraged and helped Unger to publish several pieces of writing. Warren also wrote numerous letters of recommendation for Unger on several occasions.

Keywords: Fulbright Scholarship; Guggenheim Scholarship; John Donne; Letters of recommendation; Metaphysical poetry; Modern criticism; Publishing; Robert Penn Warren; Short stories; T. S. Eliot; The University Of Minnesota; Theses; WWII; World War II

Subjects: American literature--20th century; Friendship; Poetry

01:00:44 - Stories about Warren

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Partial Transcript: I haven't mentioned yet, um, a, a relation, um, with, with Red that was not of Baton Rouge or Iowa City or Minnesota...

Segment Synopsis: Unger recalls specific instances with Warren during the course of their friendship. Several anecdotes are remembered as well. Warren's personality is also briefly described.

Keywords: Andrew Lytle; Chicago (Ill.); Convivial; Jokes; Laughter; Poetry Magazine; Robert Penn Warren; Rome (Italy); Southern Review; Stories; The University Of Minnesota

Subjects: American literature--20th century; Friendship; Poetry; Storytelling