Andrew Lytle Robert Penn Warren - Essay

Robert Penn Warren

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[The story of revenge related by Andrew Lytle in The Long Night is based on oral tales told in the Cumberland.] But when, in the cold light of morning, the teller faces the blank, white page, alone, with no friend present and no glass in the hand, all is different. The greatest difference is that now he is to freeze the tale in the act of telling. That is the terrible fact.

What does Andrew Lytle do to, for, with, the tale that had lived in voices? What, that is, beyond his own special narrative élan?

First, he gives it a world. In the other tellings the tale had not needed a world. The world had been solidly there in the consciousness, in the blood, even, of the...

(The entire section is 1237 words.)