Understanding Faulkner’s Work

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Great Authors: William Faulkner

William Faulkner, revered modernist writer, historian and sociologist, is known for capturing the raw beauty of the rural South in all its dark complexity. While his sprawling verse and habit of knotting together past, present and future has overwhelmed some critics, others have responded to the demands of his writing.

Faulkner’s Early Life

William Cuthbert Falkner (he later added the “u”) was the oldest of four boys born in ... read more »

Faulkner’s Writing and His Impact

In New Orleans, Faulkner met Sherwood Anderson, a writer who would become his friend and mentor. He ... read more »

Faulkner’s Inspiration

In “Go Down, Moses,” published in 1942, Faulkner isolated the precise moment when a ... read more »

Faulkner’s Family and Friends

Estelle Oldham divorced her first husband and married Faulkner only months later in 1929. But their ... read more »

Faulkner’s Death and Posthumous Fame

Faulkner died on July 6, 1962, of a heart attack at Wright’s Sanitarium in Byhalia, Miss. The ... read more »

Understanding Faulkner’s Work

Readers of Faulkner rely on emotional instincts to embrace and unravel the ambiguities woven into each passage.

Robert Hamblin, an expert on Faulkner’s literature, tells frustrated readers to think of themselves as members of a jury. Imagine “sitting in court listening to and sifting through … contradictory testimonies of a parade of witnesses, and knowing that finally you'll have to make up your own mind about what actually happened and who is and is not telling the truth,” Hamblin writes.

For additional resources, an overview of each book’s plot and synopsis, and commentary, consult William Faulkner on the Web. Southeast Missouri State University’s Center for Faulkner Studies also offers several critical essays for many of his novels and short stories.

The William Faulkner Foundation based at the University of Rennes, France, provides a complete list of films written by Faulkner or adapted from his work.
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Fans of Faulkner

The William Faulkner Society presents information on conferences, panel discussions and proposal ... read more »

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