All the King's Men

Argumento


All the King's Men (Todos los hombres del rey) es una novela de Robert Penn Warren, publicada en 1946. Después del argumento escuchamos un discurso del protagonista de la historia, Willie Stark, vemos algunos datos del autor, Robert Penn Warren, y del personaje de las canciones infantiles, Humpty Dumpty,

El título de la novela proviene de la canción infantil Humpty Dumpty. En 1947 Warren ganó el premio Pulitzer por esta novela. Fue adaptada para el cine en 1949 y en 2006. La versión de 1949 ganó el premio de la Academia por Mejor Película. All the King's Men fue considerada una de las grandes novelas por Modern Library y fue elegida como una de las mejores 100 novelas desde 1923 por la revista Time.

All the King's Men describe el dramático surgimiento y gobierno de Willie Stark, un político populista cínico en el sur de los Estados Unidos de la década del 30. La novela es narrada por Jack Burden, reportero político que viene a trabajar como la mano derecha del gobernador Stark. La trayectoria de la carrera de Stark se relaciona con la historia de vida de Jack Burden y sus reflexiones filosóficas: “la historia de Willie Stark y la historia de Jack Burden son, en un sentido, una misma historia.”

La novela evoluciona desde un drama en verso que Warren comenzó a escribir en 1936, Proud Flesh. Uno de los personajes en Proud Flesh era Willie Talos, en referencia al brutal personaje Talus (1) en la obra de Edmund Spenser The Faerie Queene.
Warren sostuvo que All the King's Men nunca tuvo la intención de ser un libro sobre política.
 (1) Talus, hombre que ayuda a Arthegall a impartir justicia en el libro 5.

My friends, my friends, I have a speech here. It's a speech about what this state needs. There's no need in my telling you what this state needs. You are the state and you know what you need. You over there, look at your pants. Have they got holes in the knees? Listen to your stomach. Did you ever hear it rumble for hunger? And you, what about your crops? Did they ever rot in the field because the road was so bad you couldn't get 'em to market? And you, what about your kids? Are they growin' up ignorant as dirt, ignorant as you 'cause there's no school for 'em? [casts his speech away] Naw, I'm not gonna read you any speech. But I am gonna tell ya a story. It's a funny story so get ready to laugh....Get ready to bust your sides laughin', 'cause it's sure a funny story. It's about a hick, a hick like you, if ya please. Yeah, like you. He grew up on the dirt roads and the gully washes of a farm. He knew what it was to get up before dawn and get feed and slop and milk before breakfast, and then set out before sunup and walk six miles to a one-room, slab-sided schoolhouse. Aw, this hick knew what it was to be a hick, all right. He figured if he was gonna get anything done, well, he had to do it himself. So he sat up nights and studied books. He studied law, because he thought he might be able to change things some - for himself and for folks like him. Now I'm not gonna lie to ya. He didn't start off thinkin' about the hicks and all the wonderful things he was gonna do for 'em. Naw, naw, he started off thinkin' of number one. But somethin' came to him on the way. How he could do nothin' for himself without the help of the people. That's what came to him. And it also came to him with the powerful force of God's own lightning back in his home county when the school building collapsed 'cause it was built of politics' rotten brick. It killed and mangled a dozen kids. But you know that story. The people were his friends because he'd fought that rotten brick. And some of the politicians down in the city, they knew that, so they rode up to his house in a big, fine, shiny car and said as how they wanted him to run for Governor....And he swallowed it. He looked in his heart and he thought in all humility, how he'd like to try and change things. He was just a country boy who thought that even the plainest, poorest man can be Governor if his fellow citizens find he's got the stuff for the job. All those fellas in the striped pants, they saw that hick and they took him in...
There he is! There's your Judas Iscariot! Look at him! ...Look at him....! [Chaos] Now, shut up! Shut up, all of ya! Now listen to me, ya hicks. Yeah, you're hicks too, and they fooled you a thousand times just like they fooled me. But this time, I'm gonna fool somebody. I'm gonna stay in this race. I'm on my own and I'm out for blood. Now listen to me, you hicks! Listen to me, and lift up your eyes and look at God's blessed and unfly-blown truth. And this is the truth! You're a hick, and nobody ever helped a hick but a hick himself! Alright, listen to me! Listen to me! I'm the hick they were gonna use to split the hick vote. Well, I'm standin' right here now on my hind legs. Even a dog can learn to do that. Are you standin' on your hind legs? Have you learned to do that much yet? Here it is! Here it is, ya hicks! Nail up anybody who stands in your way! Nail up Joe Harrison! Nail up McMurphy! And if they don't deliver, give me the hammer and I'll do it myself!
Adaptation of Humpty Dumpty, 1904
Adaptation of Humpty
Dumpty, 1904

Para saber
Robert Penn Warren (1905 - 1989) fue poeta, novelista y crítico literario norteamericano, y uno de los fundadores del New Criticism. Fundó el influyente diario literario The Southern Review con Cleanth Brooks en 1935. Recibió el premio Pulitzer de 1947 por su novela All the King's Men (1946) y Pulitzer de Poesía en 1958 y 1979. Es la única persona en haber ganado por ficción y poesía.

Humpty Dumpty es un personaje de las canciones infantiles inglesas, probablemente originalmente una adivinanza y uno de los más conocidos en el mundo de habla inglesa. Es típicamente representado como un huevo antropomórfico.
El personaje fue popularizado en Estados Unidos por el actor George L. Fox (1825 – 1877).

De la web
Humpty Dumpty - Nursery Rhyme - Ep 3
Willie Stark speech - "All the Kings Men" (1949)

Fuentes
Humpty Dumpty

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