"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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"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.'