The life of William Faulkner

by Rollyson, Carl E.

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: Available at 1 Library 2 of 2 copies
Available (2)
Location Collection Call #
Northland Public Library Biography B FAULKNER v.1
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  B FAULKNER v.1
Northland Public Library Biography B FAULKNER v.2
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  B FAULKNER v.2

William Faulkner emerged from the ravaged South--half backwoods, half defeated empire--transforming his corner of Mississippi into the fictional Yoknapatawpha County and bestowing on the world some of the most revolutionary and enduring literature of the twentieth century. The personal story behind the work has fascinated readers nearly as much as the great novels, but Faulkner has remained elusive despite numerous biographies that have attempted to decipher his private life and his wild genius. In an ambitious biography that will encompass two volumes, Carl Rollyson has created a life of Faulkner for the new millennium.

Rollyson has drawn on an unprecedented amount of material to present the richest rendering of Faulkner yet published. In addition to his own extensive interviews, Rollyson consults the complete--and never fully shared--research of pioneering Faulkner biographer Joseph Blotner, who discarded from his authorized biography substantial findings in order to protect the Faulkner family. Rollyson also had unrivaled access to the work of Carvel Collins, whose decades-long inquiry produced one of the greatest troves of primary source material in American letters.

This first volume follows Faulkner from his formative years through his introduction to Hollywood. Rollyson sheds light on Faulkner's unpromising, even bewildering youth, including a gift for tall tales that blossomed into the greatest of literary creativity. He provides the fullest portrait yet of Faulkner's family life, in particular his enigmatic marriage, and offers invaluable new insight into the ways in which Faulkner's long career as a screenwriter influenced his iconic novels.

Integrating Faulkner's screenplays, fiction, and life, Rollyson argues that the novelist deserves to be reread not just as a literary figure but as a still-relevant force, especially in relation to issues of race, sexuality, and equality. The culmination of years of research in archives that have been largely ignored by previous biographers, The Life of William Faulkner offers a significant challenge and an essential contribution to Faulkner scholarship.

Volume 1. The past is never dead, 1897-1934
Volume 2. This alarming paradox, 1935-1962.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Rollyson's disappointing exploration of William Faulkner's early life follows the author from his childhood in Oxford, Miss., to his first years in Hollywood. Rollyson (The Last Days of Sylvia Plath), a Baruch College professor emeritus, ushers readers through Faulkner's stint in the RAF in WWI and later sojourns in New York City and New Orleans. The book then chronicles Faulkner's unrelenting difficulties with money and drink; his tangled relationship with his wife, Estelle; and the publication of his first noteworthy novels, including The Sound and the Fury in 1929 and As I Lay Dying in 1930. Rollyson also reveals how Faulkner's Hollywood screenwriting career, after a disastrous start in the early 1930s, was redeemed by a productive partnership with director Howard Hawks. Unfortunately, Rollyson provides little historical context and assumes a greater knowledge of Faulkner's life and work than many readers will possess. Most egregiously, he avoids rigorously examining the troublesome issue of race as reflected in the writer's work and life. He does suggest, tantalizingly, that Faulkner's Hollywood stint affected his novel writing, but readers will have to wait for the forthcoming second volume to explore that further. Devoted Faulkner admirers may find some new insights, but those interested in an entrée to Faulkner's world should look elsewhere. (Mar.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Faulkner, William, -- 1897-1962.
Authors, American -- 20th century -- Biography.
Novelists, American -- 20th century -- Biography.
Publisher Charlottesville :University of Virginia Press,2020
Language English
Description 2 volumes : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 9780813943824
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