William Faulkner

(1897 – 1962)

William FaulknerBiographical Sketch

William Cuthbert Faulkner (born Falkner; New Albany, MS, USA, September 25, 1897 – Byhalia, MS, USA, July 6, 1962) was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner worked in a variety of written media, including novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays and screenplays. He is primarily known and acclaimed for his novels and short stories, many of which are set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, a setting Faulkner created based on Lafayette County, where he spent most of his life, and Holly Springs/Marshall County.

Faulkner is one of the most important writers in the United States. He is also one of the most important writers in Southern literature in the United States, along with Mark Twain, Robert Penn Warren, Flannery O’Connor, Truman Capote, Eudora Welty, Thomas Wolfe, Harper Lee and Tennessee Williams. Though his work was published as early as 1919, and largely during the 1920s and 1930s, Faulkner was relatively unknown until receiving the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature. Two of his works, A Fable (1954) and his last novel The Reivers (1962), won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

In 1998, the Modern Library ranked his 1929 novel The Sound and the Fury sixth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century; also on the list were As I Lay Dying (1930) and Light in August (1932). Absalom, Absalom! (1936) is often included on similar lists.

Read more about William Faulkner on Wikipedia.

 

Major Awards and Honors

Nobel Prize for Literature
  • 1949
Pulitzer Prize (USA)
  • 1955: Fiction – “A Fable”
  • 1963: Fiction – “The Reivers”
National Book Awards (USA)
  • 1951: Fiction – “Collected Stories”
  • 1955: Fiction – “A Fable”
O. Henry Award for Short Fiction
  • 1931: First Prize – “Thrift” (published in The Saturday Evening Post)
  • 1932: First Prize – “Turn About” (published in The Saturday Evening Post)
  • 1934: First Prize – “Wash” (published in Harper’s Magazine)
  • 1936: First Prize – “Lion” (published in Harper’s Magazine)
  • 1939: First Prize – “Barn Burning” (published in Harper’s Magazine)
  • 1940: First Prize – “Hand upon the Waters” (published in The Saturday Evening Post)
  • 1941: First Prize – “The Old People” (published in Harper’s Magazine)
  • 1942: First Prize – “Two Soldiers” (published in The Saturday Evening Post)
  • 1949: First Prize – “A Courtship” (published in The Sewanee Review)
  • 1951: First Prize – “A Name for the City” (published in Harper’s Magazine)
  • 1956: First Prize – “Race at Morning” (published in The Saturday Evening Post)
  • 1957: First Prize – “By the People” (published in Mademoiselle)

 

Bibliography

Novels
  • Soldiers’ Pay (1926)
  • Mosquitoes (1927)
  • Sartoris (1929)
    A/K/A: Flags in the Dust
  • The Sound and the Fury (1929)
  • As I Lay Dying (1930)
  • Sanctuary (1931)
  • Light in August (1932)
  • Pylon (1935)
  • Absalom, Absalom! (1936)
  • The Unvanquished (1838)
  • If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem (1939)
    A/K/A: The Wild Palms
  • The Hamlet (1940)
  • Go Down, Moses (1942)
  • Intruder in the Dust (1948)
  • Requiem for a Nun (1951)
  • A Fable (1954)
  • The Town (1957)
  • The Mansion (1959)
  • The Reivers (1962)
Short Fiction
  • Mayday (1926)
  • The Wishing Tree (1927)
  • Father Abraham (1927)
  • These 13 (1931)
  • Idyll in the Desert (1931)
  • Miss Zilphia Gant (1932)
  • Doctor Martino and Other Stories (1934)
  • Knight’s Gambit (1949)
  • Collected Stories (1950)
  • Notes on a Horsethief (1951)
  • The Faulkner Reader (1953)
  • Big Woods: The Hunting Stories (1955)
  • Three Famous Short Novels (1958)
  • Early Prose and Poetry (1962)
  • Uncollected Stories (1979)
  • Sanctuary (1981)
    – Published posthumously.
  • Country Lawyer and Other Stories for the Screen (1987)
    – Published posthumously.
Plays and Screenplays
  • The Marionettes (1920)
  • Today We Live (1933)
  • Lazy River (1934)
  • Pylon (1935)
  • Banjo on My Knee (1936)
  • The Road to Glory (1936)
  • Slave Ship (1937)
  • Submarine Patrol (1938)
  • Four Men and a Prayer (1938)
  • Gunga Din (1939)
  • Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)
  • The De Gaulle Story (1942)
  • Battle Cry (1943)
  • Air Force (1943)
  • Background to Danger (1943)
  • Northern Pursuit (1943)
  • To Have and Have Not (1944)
  • Stallion Road (1945)
  • The Southerner (1945)
  • Mildred Pierce (1945)
  • The Big Sleep (1946)
  • Deep Valley (1947)
  • The Adventures of Don Juan (1948)
  • The Damned Don’t Cry (1950)
  • The Left Hand of God (1955)
  • Land of the Pharaohs (1955)
  • Faulkner’s MGM Screenplays (1982):
    • Manservant
    • The College Widow
    • Absolution
    • Flying the Mail
    • Turn About/Today We Live
    • War Birds/A Ghost Story
    • Honor
    • Mythical Latin-American Kingdom Story
    • Louisiana Lou/Lazy River
Poetry
  • Vision in Spring (1921)
  • The Marble Faun (1924)
  • Mississippi Poems (1924)
  • Helen: A Courtship (1925)
  • A Green Bough (1933)
Correspondence, Interviews, Speeches, Essays
  • Faulkner at Nagano (1956)
    – Speeches and interviews.
  • Faulkner in the University (1959)
    – Interviews.
  • Faulkner at West Point (1964)
    – Interviews.
  • Essays, Speeches & Public Letters (1966)
  • The Faulkner-Cowley File: Letters and Memoirs, 1944-1962 (1966)
  • Lion in the Garden: Interviews with William Faulkner 1926-1962 (1968)
  • New Orleans Sketches (1968)
  • Selected Letters of William Faulkner (1977)
  • Faulkner: A Comprehensive Guide to the Brodsky Collection; Volume II: The Letters (1984)
  • Thinking of Home: William Faulkner’s Letters to His Mother and Father, 1918-1925 (1992)
Online editions of William Faulkner’s works

 

A Selection of Quotes

Requiem for a Nun

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

Lion in the Garden: Interviews with William Faulkner, 1926-1962

“What matters is at the end of life, when you’re about to pass into oblivion, that you’ve at least scratched ‘Kilroy was here,’ on the last wall of the universe.”

Statement at the University of Mississippi (1947)

Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.
Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”

Press conference, University of Virginia (May 20, 1957)

“At one time I thought the most important thing was talent. I think now that – the young man or the young woman must possess or teach himself, train himself, in infinite patience, which is to try and to try and to try until it comes right. He must train himself in ruthless intolerance. That is, to throw away anything that is false no matter how much he might love that page or that paragraph. The most important thing is insight, that is … curiosity to wonder, to mull, and to muse why it is that man does what he does. And if you have that, then I don’t think the talent makes much difference, whether you’ve got that or not.”

Essays, Speeches & Public Letters

“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”

Find more quotes by William Faulkner on Wikiquote and Goodreads.

 

Links

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