The terrible Southern culture as portrayed in the novels of William Faulkner most certainly existed. It takes a tremendous deal of wilful denial to think that it didn’t. What I find to be the very height of absurdity in what passes for education in these corporate controlled states here in American, is the total obliteration of acceptance. William Faulkner’s novels were meant entirely to display the grotesque and the absurdity of the dysfunctional relationships of black and white persons and the total social horror of it all.
In modern America – a schoolteacher wouldn’t be able to read much from Faulkner’s work in their classrooms for the gratuitous use of the “N Word,” and you all know what the word is, and why the brilliant Faulkner used it, he used it because he was depicting reality, and reality, of course, is the biggest enemy of corporatism, corporate controlled government, and the totally incorrect nonsense called political correctness.
The irony of it all is hideous, and it wouldn’t have been lost on William Faulkner, perhaps he’d even foresaw it. Can you imagine the Sound And The Fury of the ignorant and uneducated parents as their children came home and told them how the teacher had been reading something from some terrible racist that used “the N word?” So much humanity was captured in the works of William Faulkner that it won him many an award, and much respect with anyone literate, or able in these times of disinformation and in-correctness, intolerance, and indoctrination.
Young William Faulkner
Inside Faulkner House Books – New Orleans.
The Life Of William Faulkner
William Cuthbert Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, on November 27, 1871. Mississippi, of course, was one of the major hotbeds of racism in the South, and a place that during Faulkner’s childhood, organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan were probably seen by a large part of the locals as, well, themselves. William wouldn’t really spend but his first five years in New Albany, as the family would move to Oxford, Mississippi for more favourable conditions for it to prosper economically. There in Oxford, would be where William would truly observe Southern culture at it’s worst, and there he’d depict it in his novels, fictitiously, of course, and under the not well hidden or disguised name that he’d made famous, Yoknapatawpha County.
In the public all white schools, young William Faulkner would excel early on, and skip a grade – but this didn’t last, he’d withdraw and become very quite, and utterly indifferent to his school work as he progressed in age and grades, and he’d fail two grades, repeat the first one, and leave school without graduating. William instead of enjoying school, naturally, enjoyed stories, and he’d sit and listen to tales told by elderly Civil War veterans, and especially one of his grandfathers. Most especially, William’s grandfather would tell young William Faulkner tales of the great grandfather that William had never met – a Civil War hero, of sorts, who also happened to be his namesake, , William Clark Falkner.
William Faulkner would first write poetry, and he’d started that in his adolescence – after quitting high school he’d attend the University of Mississippi. He’d been able to get in with some inside connections he’d had, but he’d soon drop out of Ol’ Miss anyway. He DID have his first bit of success with writing during his short university stay, and some of his earliest poems were published in the campus journals.
Faulkner had met a man named Philip Stone who was as passionate about literature as William was, and Mr. Stone would introduce Faulkner to a a writer that would become a major influence on him, James Joyce. During the first world war William Faulkner was rejected as an applicant due to his being just five foot five inches tall, but wanting to serve, he’d join the British Royal Flying Corps, and train in Canada – but he’d never see wartime action. He’d move to Louisiana, and in 1925 – get his first novel published, The tiny house in New Orleans where William Faulkner would write his first two books still stands, by the way, and is located at 624 Pirate’s Alley, and now is a business known as Faulkner House Books.
Neither of William Faulkner’s novels that he’d written in New Orleans were of the fictitious Yoknapatawpha County variety, and his first efforts at such he’d considered vastly superior to the work that he’d done in New Orleans – his publisher, however, disagreed entirely, and rejected it in it’s original form, but William allowed for it to be heavily edited, and retitled – it was published, finally, in 1928, and titled Sartoris
Contrary to what you might think – William Faulkner cared absolutely not at all about his rejection by publishers, in fact – he went the opposite way that they seemed to want him to go, and so he’d do more of what it was that they’d seemed to not like, said Faulkner of this:
“One day I seemed to shut the door between me and all publisher’s addresses and book lists. I said to myself, Now I can write.”
Faulkner wasn’t making a lot of money from his writing, and who would think that it would be received well in the South? He was no fan of film, but he’d married Estelle Oldham in 1929, and he’d been offered a job for MGM Studios, and so he’d felt the need to accept it. He’d move to California, of course, and do a lot of drinking and a lot of hunting with producers that he worked with – William was an easy guy to get along with, and he’d be a successful screenwriter throughout the 1930′s and 1940′s.
In the 1950′s William Faulkner would served as Writer-in-Residence at theUniversity of Virginia at Charlottesville In 1959 William would suffer some very serious injuries from horseback riding, and on July 6, 1962 – He’d die from heart attack.
Winner Of The Nobel Prize For Literature – William Faulkner
The Literature Of William Faulkner.
William Faulkner wasn’t a successful writer, really, during his lifetime – most of his books had even gone out of print by the time he was awarded the Nobel Prize For Literature. I seriously doubt that Mr. William Faulkner could have truly thought that they’d be commercially accepted – he wrote about the absolute wickedness of the culture that he grew up in, and I suspect that as a real artist, he’d not written anything for money so much as he’d written them because he felt that he was meant to do so. If you’ve never read Faulkner’s work, you couldn’t possibly know just what it is I’m saying here – you can literally laugh out loud while reading his stories, but it won’t be the pleasant sort of laugh, it is more of a wicked laugh that one gets, and it doesn’t leave you feeling good about yourself for having laughed at all.
.Oh that “N word,” – he uses it gratuitously, and throughout some of his novels and short stories, and he uses it to show exactly how horribly the blacks in his own experience and childhood were treated. William Faulkner was a champion of civil rights in that way – and he’d written so brilliantly that probably very few true racists would ever even be smart enough to figure out what he was doing to them, and how he had exposed them. In his own time, he was just hardly read at all.
“A Rose for Emily” – is essential reading for anyone interested in the work of William Faulkner, and so I’ve provided a link to a PDF file where you can read it. Southern Culture on the skids was never captured so well, and the decaying magnificence of it all can be observed in that short story.
Faulkner was possibly ashamed of his Nobel Prize, and he must have been uncomfortable about it all, his own daughter didn’t know he’d received it until she was called to the principle’s office at her school to be told about it by school staff. In 1956 Faulkner had given some advice for the student of writing, and it is as follows:
“Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error. The good artist believes that nobody is good enough to give him advice. He has supreme vanity. No matter how much he admires the old writer, he wants to beat him.”
A Rose For Emily – By William Faulkner.
Here is a pdf where, if you wish, you can read William Faulkner’s “A Rose For Emily.”