Monday, October 18, 2004

William Faulkner

William Faulkner was born in Mississippi on September 25, 1897. Never having graduated from high school, he sought to join the Air Force. When he was turned down because of his height, 5' 6", he applied to the Royal Air Force in Canada portraying himself as British. The first World War ended before the completion of his training but, Faulkner told tales of his service and took advantage of benefits for war veterans to attend the University of Mississippi. Faulkner dropped out of school but continued his education in the literary circle of Sherwood Anderson. He came into his own with the Sound and the Fury, which he wrote for pleasure and without plans for publication. Broken into four sections and each told from the point a view of a different character, the novel plays with style and content in a revolutionary way. As I Lay Dying followed, and then Faulkner began writing short stories to support his growing family. Faulkner's explorations of life in the setting of his native south were recognized with the Nobel Prize in 1949. His acceptance speech has been considered one of the best given at a Nobel ceremony. In it he urges the new generation of writers to return to problems of the heart, the only subject worth writing about.


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