Essays, Speeches & Public Letters

Essays, Speeches & Public Letters

William Faulkner

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 081297137X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


An essential collection of William Faulkner’s mature nonfiction work, updated, with an abundance of new material.

This unique volume includes Faulkner’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech, a review of Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (in which he suggests that Hemingway has found God), and newly collected gems, such as the acerbic essay “On Criticism” and the beguiling “Note on A Fable.” It also contains eloquently opinionated public letters on everything from race relations and the nature of fiction to wild-squirrel hunting on his property. This is the most comprehensive collection of Faulkner’s brilliant non-fiction work, and a rare look into the life of an American master.

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of mystics and astrologers and fire-worshippers and raw-carrot fiends as a hobby for his declining years. [New England Journeys Number 2, Dearborn, Michigan, 1954; the punctuation of the text printed here has been corrected from an unrevised Faulkner typescript.] An Innocent at Rinkside THE VACANT ICE looked tired, though it shouldn’t have. They told him it had been put down only ten minutes ago following a basket-ball game, and ten minutes after the hockey match it would be taken up

the puck and follow it. Then the individual players would emerge. They would not emerge like the sweating barehanded behemoths from the troglodyte mass of football, but instead as fluid and fast and effortless as rapier-thrusts or lightning—Richard with something of the passionate glittering fatal alien quality of snakes, Geoffrion like an agile ruthless precocious boy who maybe couldn’t do anything else but then he didn’t need to; and others—the veteran Laprade, still with the know-how and the

believed that baseness had been inculcated in man to be used for base personal aggrandizement by them of a higher and more ruthless baseness. So God used the dark spirit too. He did not merely cast it shrieking out of the universe, as He could have done. Instead, He used it. He already presaw the long roster of the ambition’s ruthless avatars—Genghis and Caesar and William and Hitler and Barca and Stalin and Bonaparte and Huey Long. But He used more—not only the ambition and the ruthlessness and

possession, his imagination, experience and observation, to put into some more durable form than his own fragile and ephemeral life—in paint or music or marble or the covers of a book—that which he has learned in his brief spell of breathing—the passion and hope, the beauty and horror and humor, of frail and fragile and indomitable man struggling and suffering and triumphing amid the conflicts of his own heart, in the human condition. He is not to solve this dilemma nor does he even hope to

family would be gathered at a meal, with the message: ‘Mammy says to tell you not to forget you owe her eighty-nine dollars.’ To the child, even at that time, she seemed already older than God, calling his grandsire ‘colonel’ but never the child’s father nor the father’s brother and sister by anything but their christian names even when they themselves had become grandparents: a matriarch with a score of descendants (and probably half that many more whom she had forgotten or outlived), one of

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