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William Faulkner

by Expert Prof Nelly | 08 Jun 2017

William Faulkner is an eccentric writer, and is still considered as one of the great writers produced by the United States, who is known for his heritage and literary works. Being an idealistic student in school days, his mind traveled towards directionless reading and made him give up his educational life. His later life was an amalgamation of loneliness and tragedy and he experienced a status of isolation in mind and heart. This was the period when his mind traveled scientifically and made him explore his hidden potentials as a matured writer and concept analyst. Opportunities to travel a lot gave him some magnanimous experiences, which made him step into the literature arena.

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His first book, The Marble Faun, a collection of poems, appeared in 1924. It did not gain success. He sustained writing lots of fiction which turned out be a failure in his early days, but due to his clear vision and clarity in thoughts , he came up with his first novel soldiers pay which explained the situation of soldiers and their sufferings during the first world war. Even though the reach of this novel was not up to the mark, his second novel Mosquitoes throwed light on the literary scenes of the New Orleans and it spoke about the artistic independence.

In 1929 Faulkner wrote Sartoris, the first of fifteen novels set in Yoknapatawpha County, a fictional region of Mississippi Sartoris was later reissued entitled FLAGS IN THE DUST (1973). The Yoknapatawpha novels spanned the decades of economic decline from the American Civil War. Faulkner used various writing styles. The narrative varies from the traditional storytelling, to series of snapshots or collage. ABSALOM,
ABSALOM!, generally considered Faulkner's masterpiece. It records a range of voices, all trying to unravel the mysteries of Thomas Sutpen's violent life.

Faulkner tried many methodologies, moulding him as a professional writer but none worked out or gave him the anticipated recognition as a professional writer. With lot of difficulties, he found a publisher for his leisure novel “flags” which once again raised criticism for one reason or the other. But Faulkner continued himself in writing many short stories and novels.Inspite of all his efforts and hurdles , his focus was clear and he was always exploring the ways to quench is literature thirst. His writing received a mixture of response a sentenced was too long and difficult to understand. And sometime he withholds important details or vital references and made it tough for the readers to follow. Faulkner’s writing style was completely based on European Modernism.

Over the course of his career, Faulkner grew to be one of the greatest author of fictions and he has also been described as the “Picasso of Literature”. His writing always proved to be a thought provoking stuff with a balanced mixture of ethics, music, psychology, philosophy etc. He was also capable of bringing his peculiar thoughts into words which gained him more fame. As a result of his all hard work and astounding literary skills, William Faulkner was awarded the noble prize for literature in 1949. He was also the recipients for the two Pulitzer prized for a fable and The Reivers. Totally nineteen novels were published during Faulkner’s life time all but five are set in Yoknapatawpha County.

Faulkner’s writing suffered at the later stage of his life due to continous traveling across many Asian countries. He continued his lifestyle of drinking and hunting in spite of frequently suffering injuries from falling off his horse. A fall on June 17, 1962 landed Faulkner in the hospital, where he later died of a heart attack on July 7th.

Internet References:

  • 1999, 2002 Gateway New Orleans, http://gatewayno.com/culture/Faulkner.html (13th July, 2006)
  • 1997 Encyclopedia Britannica, (13th July, 2006)
  • 2006 eNotes, (13th July, 2006)
  • John.p.Padgett, The University of Mississippi
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