All the King's Men (Penguin Modern Classics)

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All the King's Men (Penguin Modern Classics)

All the King's Men (Penguin Modern Classics)

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My conception grew wider, but that element always remained, and Willie Stark remained, in one way, Willie Talos. Long and the fiction Willie Stark, may be indicated by the fact that in the verse play [ Proud Flesh] the name of the politician was Talos – the name of the brutal, blank-eyed 'iron groom' of Spenser's Fairie Queene, the pitiless servant of the knight of justice. January 1st arrives amid lingering holiday indulgence, often leaving us with hangovers and half-hearted promises of change. A different perspective exposes something new in Oxford’s tangle of streets and colleges; from afar, students on bikes and tourist groups and traffic disputes stop feeling like a nuisance, revealing instead a quiet, understated sort of loveliness. Stark steals Burden’s desired woman and sets in motion a complicated plot that makes Burden the instrument of a man he discovers only too late to be his own father.

Despite the positive reviews, in 1974, All the King's Men was challenged at the Dallas, Texas, Independent School District high school libraries for depicting a "depressing view of life" and "immoral situations". All the King's Men would be a good novel if it were only about the rise and fall of Willie Stark (who is a political boss, not a dictator), but it is also a novel about Jack Burden, a man who has lost his past and must find it. It is the story of a man who lived in the world, and to him the world looked one way for a long time and then it looked another and very different way. Although this one is set in the political world, there’s no political tub-thumping – he’s not got a political agenda as far as I could see. Adrian Hall adapted and directed a stage version of the novel at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island in April 1987.

Ultimately, Jack rejects his harmful philosophy, accepting and embracing this past and moving away from this nihilistic worldview.

Warren presents Willie in a liminal state, describing him as a ‘carcass’, a ‘sap’ and dehumanising him as ‘it’. Set in the 1930s, it describes the dramatic rise to power, as state governor, of Willie Stark, a one-time radical attorney. Jack Burden is the novel's narrator, a former student of history, newspaper columnist, and personal aide to Governor Willie Stark. Truly a brilliant book which, although it has a lot to say about the political system, isn’t fundamentally about politics. I seem to have become a master of procrastination at the moment, and have been intending to start posting again every day for weeks, but just don’t seem to have had the energy to do it.In narrating the story, Jack commingles his own personal story with the political story of Governor Stark. Yes, I’m sorry for disappearing like that – I really hadn’t intended to take a break at all but one day led to the next… and the next…! I defend it because despite everything it remains magnificent, an evocation of a vanished South before air conditioning, before highways, before standardized hotels and restaurants, before civil rights, before prosperity drew people away from their farms and crossroads towns to cities and suburbs. This book sounds good, and I’m not surprised you enjoyed it, especially with everything going on in the world, especially in the US. I have read a good chunk of Warren’s poetry – he is one of our greats, although not famous like Robert Frost – and am now wondering which of his novels I should read next.

  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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