Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version


Document Type



Documentary Editing, Volume 21, Number 1, March 1999.

ISSN 2476-1796 (electronic); ISSN 2167-1451 (print)


1999 © the Association for Documentary Editing. Used by permission.


The strength of Brooks's friendship pervades his letters published in Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren: A Literary Correspondence. Just as obvious is the strength of Warren's attachment to Brooks. Throughout these letters, extending from 1933 to 1988, mostly concerned with literary and professional matters, a tone of respectful deference obtains, but breaking through that tone quite often are glimpses of their heartfelt affection for one another. These glimpses usually come at the ends of letters, when the business matters have been concluded and one expresses his desire to see the other and his family, or is particularly warm in communicating his affection. The closes are usually "As ever" or "Regards" or "My best," but on a few occasions these become "Love to both of you" or "Our love, all around." And, in several instances, when the drudgery of putting together one of their textbooks has become too much to bear , Warren , particularly , will relax the professional tone and vent his exasperation- as he does in a letter of 30 June 1947:

Well, I'll sign off, for the clock is striking midnight. God bless us one and all and let's finish this damned book and make a million dollars and blow it all on riotous living to recover our souls.