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Brombert Wins 2013 Warren-Brooks Literary Award

victor-brombertVictor Brombert (Photo courtesy Princeton)BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (4/29/14) — 'Musings on Mortality: Tolstoy to Primo Levi' by Victor Brombert has been selected as the 2013 winner of The Robert Penn Warren-Cleanth Brooks Award for outstanding literary criticism.

The award is presented by the Robert Penn Warren Center at Western Kentucky University and was established by the Warren family to honor an outstanding work of literary scholarship that embodies the spirit, scope and integrity of the work produced by Warren and his frequent collaborator, Brooks.

Brombert is the Henry Putnam Professor Emeritus of Romance and Comparative Literatures at Princeton University. Aimee Berger, chair of the selection committee, said the book was a unanimous choice from many fine entries.

“Your book is an example of brilliant scholarship and insightful criticism but is also deeply moving in a truly human way, not just because of its brilliance but, we felt, something of kindness too, or at least a deep understanding and compassion,” Berger wrote. “This book is a tremendous human document, and greatly admired by us all.”

According to the publisher, The University of Chicago Press, Brombert came to understand the power of art as he immersed himself in literature as a young man returning from World War II: “Death can be found everywhere in literature, he saw, but literature itself is on the side of life. With delicacy and penetrating insight, Brombert traces the theme of mortality in the work of a group of authors who wrote during the past century and a half, teasing out and comparing their views of death as they emerged from vastly different cultural contexts.”

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