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william faulkner
(1897-1962)

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faulkner

faulkner

w i l l i a m   f a u l k n e r  :   b i o g .  ]


"A mule will labor ten years willingly and patiently for you, for the privilege of kicking you once."
- William Faulkner


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faulkner


    w i l l i a m   f a u l k n e r  :   f a c t s

  • Name: William Faulkner
  • Birthname: William Cuthbert Faulkner
  • Nickname: Bill
  • Date of birth: 25 September 1897
  • Place of birth: New Albany, Mississippi, USA
  • Height: 5' 5" (1.66 m)
  • Spouse:
      Estelle Oldham (20 June 1929 - 6 July 1962) (his death) 2 children
  • Awards:
      Nobel prize in literature, 1949
      Pulitzer Prize, A Fable, 1955
      Pulitzer Prize, The Reivers, 1962
  • Date of death: 6 July 1962
  • Place of death: Rowan Oak, Oxford, Mississippi, USA
  • Cause of death: Coronary occlusion
  • Interred: Saint Peter's Cemetery, Oxford, Mississippi

    faulkner
    william faulkner
    circa 1915


    w i l l i a m   f a u l k n e r  :   b i o g .

    William Faulkner is recognized as one of America's greatest novelists and short story writers of the 20th century. Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi, on September, 25, 1897. His great-grandfather had moved from Tennessee to Mississippi, where he was a plantation owner, colonel in the Confederate army, railroad builder, and author of the popular novel The White Rose of Memphis.

    Faulkner's family moved from New Albany to Oxford, Mississippi, when Faulkner was five. Oxford, the home of the University of Mississippi, was to be his home for most of his life. In school Faulkner was a mediocre student, and he quit high school in tenth grade. However, he read widely and wrote poetry. At the outbreak of World War I Faulkner was rejected by the American Air Force because he did not meet the height and weight requirements so Faulkner enlisted in the Canadian Air Force. Although he did not see combat, he was made an honorary second lieutenant in December, 1918.

    After the war Faulkner was admitted to the University of Mississippi but did not complete his freshman year. Student publication, however, furnished him an outlet for his first stories and poems.

    In 1921 Faulkner went to New York City and tried to make contacts in the publishing world but was unsuccessful. On his return to Mississippi, Faulkner was appointed post master in Oxford of the university post office in 1922 and continued this job until 1924. In 1924 Faulkner met novelist and short story writer Sherwood Anderson, who impressed him and urged him to take up fiction. In six weeks Faulkner finished his first book Soldier's Pay, which was a self-conscious book about the lost generation. His first successful novel, The Sound and the Fury, was published in 1929. The 1930's were Faulkner's most productive times because he produced As I Lay Dying in 1930, Sanctuary in 1931, Light in August in 1932, Absalom! Absalom! in 1936, The Unvanquished in 1938, and The Hamlet in 1940.

    Faulkner did not gain real recognition until he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949. After this award, Faulkner became pretty much of a public figure, eventually even being asked (and accepting) an invitation by the U.S. State Department to go on goodwill tours throughout the world.

    After 1949 Faulkner wrote at an increased pace but with diminishing power. His later works include Knight's Gambit (1949), which is a collection of detective stories; Requiem for a Nun (1951), which is a play with commentary; and A Fable (1954), an allegory with a World War I background. He also wrote The Town (1957) and The Mansion (1959) to complete the "Snopes" trilogy. His last novel was The Reivers (1962), a nostalgic comedy of boyhood. Faulkner died of a heart attack in his home called Rowan Oak in Oxford, Mississippi, on July 6, 1962.

    In his works William Faulkner used the American South as a microcosm for the universal theme of time. Faulkner saw the south as a nation by itself. Faulkner described the South through families who often reappear from novel to novel. These reappearing characters usually grow older and cannot cope with the social change: a common theme (disillusionment) of writers of that time.

    Faulkner writes with an uncommon method of handling chronology (sequences) and of point of view. He often forces the reader to piece together events from a seemingly random and fragmentary series of impressions experienced by a variety of narrators. Faulkner's style often strains conventional syntax, piling clause upon clause in an effort to capture the complexity of thought. Faulkner's writing diverges from that of his realistic contemporaries such as Hemingway.

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    f a u l k n e r  :  s e l e c t e d   b o o k s
    kunderagreenegenetfowlessartrecamus

  • THE MARBLE FAUN, 1924
  • SOLDIER'S PAY, 1926
  • MOSQUITOES, 1927
  • SARTORIS / FLAGS IN THE DUST, 1929 (first in Yoknapatawpha cycle)
  • THE SOUND AND THE FURY, 1929
  • AS I LAY DYING, 1930
  • SANCTUARY, 1931
  • LIGHT IN AUGUST, 1932
  • screenplay with others: TODAY WE LIVE, 1933
  • screenplay: LAZY RIVER, 1934 (uncredited)
  • PYLON, 1935
  • ABSALOM, ABSALOM!, 1936
  • screenplay: SUTTER'S GOLD, 1936 (unused treatment)
  • screenplay: BANJO ON MY KNEE, 1936 (uncredited)
  • screenplay with others: THE ROAD TO GLORY, 1936
  • screenplay: SLAVE SHIP, 1937 (unused)
  • screenplay: SUBMARINE PATROL, 1938 (unused)
  • THE UNVANQUISHED, 1938 - Voittamattomat
  • screenplay: FOUR MEN AND A PRAYER, 1938 (minor treatment)
  • screenplay: GUNGA DIN, 1939 (uncredited)
  • screenplay: DRUMS ALONG THE MOHAWK, 1939 (uncredited)
  • THE WILD PALMS, 1939
  • THE HAMLET, 1940
  • GO DOWN, MOSES, 1942
  • screenplay: AIR FORCE, 1943 (uncredited)
  • screenplay: BACKGROUND TO DANGER, 1943 (script revisions)
  • screenplay: NORTHERN PURSUIT, 1943 (uncredited)
  • screenplay with others: TO HAVE AND TO HAVE NOT, 1944-45
  • screenplay: THE SOUTHENER, 1945 (uncredited)
  • screenplay: MILDRED PIERCE, 1945 (uncredited)
  • THE PORTABLE FAULKNER, 1946
  • screenplay with others: THE BIG SLEEP, 1946
  • screenplay: STALLION ROAD, 1947 (uncredited)
  • screenplay: DEEP VALLEY, 1947 (uncredited)
  • INTRUDER IN THE DUST, 1948
  • screenplay: THE ADVENTURES OF DON JUAN, 1948 (uncredited)
  • KNIGHT'S GAMBIT, 1949
  • COLLECTED STORIES, 1950
  • screenplay: THE DAMNED DON'T CRY, 1950 (uncredited, partly based on the story The Brooch)
  • REQUIEM FOR A NUN, 1951
  • A FABLE, 1954 - Pulitzer Prize
  • screenplay with others: LAND OF THE PHARAOHS, 1955 (born in the wake of Mika Waltari's bestseller novel The Egyptian, film 1954, dir. by Michael Curtiz)
  • screenplay: THE LEFT HAND OF GOD, 1955 (unused)
  • THE TOWN, 1957
  • THE MANSION, 1959
  • THE REIVERS, 1962 - Rosvot - Pulitzer Prize
  • WILLIAM FAULKNER: EARLY PROSE AND POETRY, 1962
  • FAULKNER AT WEST POINT, 1964
  • ESSAYS, SPEECHES AND PUBLIC LETTERS, 1966
  • THE FAULKNER-COWLEY FILE, 1968
  • FLAGS IN THE DUST, 1973
  • THE MARIONETTES, 1975
  • MAYDAY, 1977
  • SELECTED LETTERS OF WILLIAM FAULKNER, 1977
  • UNCOLLECTED STORIES OF WILLIAM FAULKNER, 1979
  • SANCTUARY: THE ORIGINAL TEXT, 1981 (edited by Noel Polk)


    faulkner
    William Faulkner, Oxford, Mississippi, 1947
    (Photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson)

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