Conversations with William Faulkner

Overview

"When a writer passes through the wall of oblivion, he will even then stop long enough to write something on the wall, like 'Kilroy was here.'"

William Faulkner was not keen on giving interviews. More often than not, he refused, as when he wrote an aspiring interviewer in 1950, "Sorry but no. Am violently opposed to interviews and publicity." Yet during the course of his prolific writing career, the truth is that he submitted to the ordeal on numerous occasions in the United ...

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Overview

"When a writer passes through the wall of oblivion, he will even then stop long enough to write something on the wall, like 'Kilroy was here.'"

William Faulkner was not keen on giving interviews. More often than not, he refused, as when he wrote an aspiring interviewer in 1950, "Sorry but no. Am violently opposed to interviews and publicity." Yet during the course of his prolific writing career, the truth is that he submitted to the ordeal on numerous occasions in the United States and abroad.
Although three earlier volumes were thought to have gathered most of Faulkner's interviews, continued research has turned up many more. Ranging from 1916, when he was a shabbily dressed young Bohemian poet to the last year of his life when he was putting finishing touches on his final novel The Reivers, they are collected here for the first time. Many of these articles and essays provide descriptions of Faulkner, his home, and his daily world. They report not only on the things that he said but on the attitudes and poses he adopted. Some capture him making up tall tales about himself, several of which gained credibility and became a part of the Faulkner mythology. Included too are the interviews from Faulkner at West Point. Taken together, this material provides a revealing and lively portrait of a Nobel Prize winner that many acclaim as the century's greatest writer.

M. Thomas Inge, the Robert Emory Blackwell Professor of English and Humanities at Randolph- Macon College, is the author or editor of more than fifty books in American literature and in American popular culture.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578061365
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 5/1/1999
  • Series: Literary Conversations Series
  • Pages: 356
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Read an Excerpt

"If you were the last man on earth, would you still write?" a reporter asked novelist William Faulkner at a press conference here Friday.

"Yes, I would," the Nobel prize winner replied dryly. "When a writer passes through the wall of oblivion, he will even then stop long enough to write something on the wall like 'Kilroy was here.'

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Table of Contents

Introduction
Chronology
The Time Has Come 1
William Faulkner: Man and Writer 3
William Faulkner: That Writin' Man of Oxford 9
A Memoir of Faulkner in the Early Days of His Fame 15
The Faulkner I Knew 18
Faulkner in Hollywood 27
The Faulkners: Recollections of a Gifted Family 30
My Friend, William Faulkner 42
William Faulkner 58
William Faulkner at Home 61
Faulkner on Writers and Writing 63
An Interview with William Faulkner 66
First Lectures at a University 73
The Private World of William Faulkner 83
Recollections on Two Artists at Work in Courthouse Square 90
Novelist's Advice Put New Spring in Youth's Step 94
Faulkner Without Fanfare 96
Faulkner Speaking 103
My First Day at Random House with William Faulkner 104
Conversations with William Faulkner 109
Editor Twice Met Faulkner at National Book Awards 112
Faulkner, Lured to Preview, Bares Long Link with Films 115
Faulkner Steps Out of His "Land of Pharaohs" into Memphis 117
With Faulkner in Japan 120
Faulkner in Massachusetts 126
The Last Gentleman 131
Col. Sartoris and Mr. Snopes 135
Faulkner Talks to Reporters about Integration, Virginians 147
Faulkner in '57 149
Hard, Fast Rules for Writers: Truthfulness, William Faulkner Tells High School Students 154
Faulkner Meets His Local Readers 156
Faulkner Says Negro Must Learn Responsibility 158
Through Faulkner's View-Finder 161
Faulkner: Advice to a Young Writer 163
Faulkner Answers Student Questions at University of Virginia Session 165
Faulkner Looks Back at Happy Year at University of Virginia 168
Visit with the Author 170
William Faulkner - Visitors Not Welcomed 172
"Thank You" Is Remembered and the Simple: "I Write" 174
Visit to Two-Finger Typist 176
Faulkner at West Point 182
Index 223
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