Biographical Essays On William Faulkner

But what is important is , not who wrote them, but that somebody did. Only what he creates is important, since there is nothing new to be said.

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The place is quiet during the morning hours, which is the best time of the day to work.By the time 64-year-old William Faulkner took his last breath on July 6, 1962, he had been a little-known Jazz Age artist, a world-famous sage of literature, the author of an obscure children’s book with a curious back-story, the recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes, and a Nobel laureate whose prize acceptance speech is itself a supreme work of art.Perhaps because of this prolific and diverse body of work, or perhaps because he was as deliberate about how he lived his life, Faulkner was remarkably deliberate about how he would be remembered after his death.There’s enough social life in the evening, if he wishes to participate, to keep him from being bored; it gives him a certain standing in his society; he has nothing to do because the madam keeps the books; all the inmates of the house are females and would defer to him and call him “sir.” All the bootleggers in the neighborhood would call him “sir.” And he could call the police by their first names.So the only environment the artist needs is whatever peace, whatever solitude, and whatever pleasure he can get at not too high a cost. I will protest to the last: no photographs, no recorded documents.It is my ambition to be, as a private individual, abolished and voided from history, leaving it markless, no refuse save the printed books; I wish I had enough sense to see ahead thirty years ago, and like some of the Elizabethans, not signed them.Of course he won’t, which is why this condition is healthy. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. He is completely amoral in that he will rob, borrow, beg, or steal from anybody and everybody to get the work done.Once he did it, once he matched the work to the image, the dream, nothing would remain but to cut his throat, jump off the other side of that pinnacle of perfection into suicide. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can’t, and then tries the short story, which is the most demanding form after poetry. INTERVIEWER Do you mean the writer should be completely ruthless? Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written.INTERVIEWER Then what would be the best environment for a writer?FAULKNER Art is not concerned with environment either; it doesn’t care where it is.


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