I’m still going through my junk from college. A little while ago, I found a notebook from my 20th Century Literature class and as I was flipping through it, I noticed that today is the anniversary of William Faulkner’s death. He died July 6th, 1962.
I’ll admit I’m not the biggest Faulkner fan ever, but I admire his work. There are people out there who are obsessed with his writing. They will go on and on about how he was a “literary genius”. I’m not so sure I would use those terms exactly, but hey, the man could write.
In my college class, we read Absalom, Absalom. It wasn’t my favorite book we read in that class (that honor goes to Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises of course), but it wasn’t a book I just wanted to throw out a window either. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of his writing style. I think his books are a little too slow for my tastes.
According to my notes (and wikipedia), he is considered one of the greatest southern writers. He grew up in Mississippi and attended the University of Mississippi, or Ole’ Miss, in Oxford. Jefferson, the town in his novels, was a representation of Oxford.
During the fall semester of my senior year of college, the English department traveled to Oxford to visit Faulkner’s home which was actually pretty cool. I love going to museums and places like that. When I was in high school, I was really into history and so, I still enjoy going to places that have existed for such a long time. Basically, It was a nice trip. Oxford is a really interesting place. You can tell it is proud of being in the south. It’s one of those “slow moving” places. There’s no huge rush. At Ole Miss, they have a small museum in their library with Faulkner stuff (and other writers). They had this book signed by Kurt Vonnegut and it was amazing.
You may know of Faulkner’s most famous book, As I Lay Dying. Personally, I think that book is a lot better than Absalom, Absalom! but I wasn’t the professor, so I didn’t get to choose. He also wrote a lot of short stories which I read quite a few in high school.
Whether you love him or hate him, you can’t deny that he loved writing. His numerous awards (including a Nobel prize for literature) prove that. Maybe his novels aren’t for everyone. I know I have to pay careful attention when I’m reading them. So, tell me, are you a fan of Faulkner? What’s your favorite short story or novel by him?
Ha, Faulkner was the tweed wearing, pipe smoking writer. Who would have thought?
The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error.