Portable Faulkner

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Overview

In prose of biblical grandeur and feverish intensity, William Faulkner reconstructed the history of the American South as a tragic legend of courage and cruelty, gallantry and greed, futile nobility, and obscene crimes. He set this legend in a small, minutely realized parallel universe he called Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi.
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Overview

In prose of biblical grandeur and feverish intensity, William Faulkner reconstructed the history of the American South as a tragic legend of courage and cruelty, gallantry and greed, futile nobility, and obscene crimes. He set this legend in a small, minutely realized parallel universe he called Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi.
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What People Are Saying

Edmund Wilson
Faulkner... belongs to the full-dressed post-Flaubert group of Conrad, Joyce, and Proust.
Ralph Ellison
For all his concern with the South, Faulkner was actually seeking out the nature of man. Thus we must return to him for that continuity of moral purpose which made for the greatness of our classics.
Robert Penn Warren
For all the range of effect, philosophical weight, originality of style, variety of characterization, humor, and tragic intensity [Faulkner's works] are without equal in our time and country.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517478608
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/7/1985
  • Series: The Viking Portable Library

Meet the Author

William Faulkner

William Faulkner (1897–1962) was born in Mississippi and was the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Pulitzer Prize. 

Malcolm Cowley (1898–1989) a leadiing literary figure of his time, wrote numerous books of literary criticism, essays, and poetry.

Biography

William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, on September 25, 1897. His family was rooted in local history: his great-grandfather, a Confederate colonel and state politician, was assassinated by a former partner in 1889, and his grandfather was a wealth lawyer who owned a railroad. When Faulkner was five his parents moved to Oxford, Mississippi, where he received a desultory education in local schools, dropping out of high school in 1915. Rejected for pilot training in the U.S. Army, he passed himself off as British and joined the Canadian Royal Air Force in 1918, but the war ended before he saw any service. After the war, he took some classes at the University of Mississippi and worked for a time at the university post office. Mostly, however, he educated himself by reading promiscuously.

Faulkner had begun writing poems when he was a schoolboy, and in 1924 he published a poetry collection, The Marble Faun, at his own expense. His literary aspirations were fueled by his close friendship with Sherwood Anderson, whom he met during a stay in New Orleans. Faulkner's first novel, Soldier's Pay, was published in 1926, followed a year later by Mosquitoes, a literary satire. His next book, Flags in the Dust, was heavily cut and rearranged at the publisher's insistence and appeared finally as Sartoris in 1929. In the meantime he had completed The Sound and the Fury, and when it appeared at the end of 1929 he had finished Sanctuary and was ready to begin writing As I Lay Dying. That same year he married Estelle Oldham, whom he had courted a decade earlier.

Although Faulkner gained literary acclaim from these and subsequent novels -- Light in August (1932), Pylon (1935), Absalom, Absalom! (1936), The Unvanquished (1938), The Wild Palms (1939), The Hamlet (1940), and Go Down, Moses (1942) -- and continued to publish stories regularly in magazines, he was unable to support himself solely by writing fiction. he worked as a screenwriter for MGM, Twentieth Century-Fox, and Warner Brothers, forming a close relationship with director Howard Hawks, with whom he worked on To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep, and Land of the Pharaohs, among other films. In 1944 all but one of Faulkner's novels were out of print, and his personal life was at low ebb due in part to his chronic heavy drinking. During the war he had been discovered by Sartre and Camus and others in the French literary world. In the postwar period his reputation rebounded, as Malcolm Cowley's anthology The Portable Faulkner brought him fresh attention in America, and the immense esteem in which he was held in Europe consolidated his worldwide stature.

Faulkner wrote seventeen books set in the mythical Yoknapatawpha County, home of the Compson family in The Sound and the Fury. "No land in all fiction lives more vividly in its physical presence than this county of Faulkner's imagination," Robert Penn Warren wrote in an essay on Cowley's anthology. "The descendants of the old families, the descendants of bushwhackers and carpetbaggers, the swamp rats, the Negro cooks and farm hands, the bootleggers and gangsters, tenant farmers, college boys, county-seat lawyers, country storekeepers, peddlers--all are here in their fullness of life and their complicated interrelations." In 1950, Faulkner traveled to Sweden to accept the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature. In later books--Intruder in the Dust (1948), Requiem for a Nun (1951), A Fable (1954), The Town (1957), The Mansion (1959), and The Reivers (1962) -- he continued to explore what he had called "the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself," but did so in the context of Yoknapatawpha's increasing connection with the modern world. He died of a heart attack on July 6, 1962.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

Good To Know

William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying: The Corrected Text

The publisher, Harrison Smith, received Faulkner's typescript for As I Lay Dying in January 1930 and published it with very few editorial changes on October 6, 1930. That text remained the same through various reprints until 1964 when Random House brought out a new edition that was corrected in accordance with the original manuscript and typescript. For the "corrected text" shown here, scholar Noel Polk used Faulkner's own ribbon typescript setting copy, corrected to account for his revisions in proof, his typing errors, and other clear inconsistencies and mistakes.

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    1. Also Known As:
      William Cuthbert Falkner (real name)
      William Faulkner
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 25, 1897
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Albany, Mississippi
    1. Date of Death:
      July 6, 1962
    2. Place of Death:
      Byhalia, Mississippi

Table of Contents

Introduction
Books by William Faulkner
1 The Old People: Editor's Note 1
1820. A Justice 3
1833. The Courthouse (A Name for the City); (from Requiem for a Nun) 19
18-. Red Leaves 51
1859. Was (from Go Down, Moses) 76
2 The Unvanquished: Editor's Note 97
1864. Raid (from The Unvanquished) 99
1869. Wash 129
1874. An Odor of Verbena (from The Unvanquished) 143
3 The Last Wilderness: Editor's Note 175
1883. The Bear (from Go Down, Moses) 177
4 The Peasants: Editor's Note 289
1908. Spotted Horses (from The Hamlet) 291
5 The End of an Order: Editor's Note 351
1902. That Evening Sun 353
1918. Ad Astra 372
1924. A Rose for Emily 392
1928. Dilsey (from The Sound and the Fury) 403
6 Mississippi Flood: Editor's Note 433
1927. Old Man (from The Wild Palms) 435
7 Modern Times: Editor's Note 525
1982. Death Drag 527
1929. Uncle Bud and the Three Madams (from Sanctuary) 546
1930: Percy Grimm (from Light in August) 559
1940. Delta Autumn (from Go Down, Moses) 571
8 The Undying Past: Editor's Note 595
1951. The Jail (Nor Even Yet Quite Relinquish - ); (from Requiem for a Nun) 597
1699-1945. Appendix: The Compsons 632
1950. Address upon Receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature 649
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2004

    One of the great anthologies

    This is one of the great literary anthologies. Cowley as an editor mastefully put together pieces of the Faulkner world, and in doing so made the world literary community understand that they were not dealing with a teller of one single story but rather with the builder of a whole literary world of his own .Faulkner's South Faulkner's world of the human heart in conflict with itself is presented here in all its unforgettable complexity pain and beauty . I think that anyone who wishes to know the Faulkner world as a whole should certainly begin with this work, if not necessarily end with it.

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