backyard crowing


william faulkner

"It is a new day."
"It is a new world!"
-from Shakespeare In Love

Okay, so more from my lit book:
William Faulkner 1897-1962
After he received a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1949, William Faulkner's reputation and influence spread throughout the world. But, ironically, the Nobel Prize was awarded largely for works that he had written years before and were so little recognized at the time of their publication that most of them were out of print by 1944. The only Faulkner novel that had come close to being a bestseller in its day was "Sanctuary", a book more famous for its shock value than for its literary quality.
Faulkner was born William Cuthbert Falkner (the "u" he added to his last name when he began to publish) in New Albany, Mississippi. When he was four or five years old, the family moved to Oxford, Mississippi, where he resided for the rest of his life. Oxford was, with some fictional modifications, a prototype of Jefferson, in the mythical county of Yoknapatawpha, the setting of "Sartoris" and most of his subsequent works. His central theme, however, was not Oxford, or Mississippi, or even America. It was, as he put it, the universal theme of 'the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself.'
Faulkner began his literary career as a poet rather than a fiction writer, but his poetry was undistinguished and commercially unsuccessful. He turned to the writing of prose in 1925 after meeting Sherwood Anderson in New Orleans. With Faulkner's theird published novel, "Sartoris", which he completed in 1927 and which was printed in 1929, he 'discovered', as he said later, 'that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it, and that by sublimating the actual into the apocryphal I would have complete liberty to use whatever talent I might have to its absolute top. It opened up a gold mine of other people, so I created a cosmos of my own.' Using his own cosmos to express his universal theme of 'the problems of the human heart,' Faulkner created the novels for which he is now best known: "The Sound and the Fury" (1929), "As I Lay Dying" (1936), "The Hamlet" (1940), and "Go Down, Moses" (1942).
In 1948, after six years in which he published only a few short stories, he resumed his career with "Intruder In The Dust". Three years later "Requiem for a Nun", a kind of sequel to "Sanctuary", appeared. His most ambitious single effort was, perhaps, "A Fable" (1954), an allegorical novel, which took him at least nine years to write and which has so far proved baffling to readers and critics alike. "The Town" (1957) and "The Mansion" (1959) complete the trilogy on the Snopes family which began with "The Hamlet". Faulkner's last novel, "The Reivers", was published on June 4, 1962. A month later he died.
Faulkner also published about seventy short stories, some of which were later incorporated into novels, such as "Wash" in "Absalom, Absalom!", "Spotted Horses" in "The Hamlet", and "The Bear" (with a long section added) in "Go Down, Moses". Collections of short stories appeared in "These 13" (1931), "Doctor Martino and Other Stories" (1934), "Knight's Gambit" (1949), "Collected Stories of William Faulkner (1950), and "Big Woods" (1955).
Although his home was always Mississippi, Faulkner traveled extensively. He trained as a pilot for the Royal Canadian Flying Corps during 1918, worked in NYC in 1920 and 1921, spent most of 1925 in New Orleans and Europe, and labored off and on for several years as a script writer in Hollywood. Like many other American writers, he never graduated from college, but he read omnivorously a wide variety of literature: the Bible, Greek and Roman classics, Shakespeare, the standard English and American poets and novelists, and such modern writers as the French symbolist poets and Conrad, James Joyce, and T. S. Eliot. Through the late 1920s and 30s his bold experiments in the dislocation of narrative time and his use of stream-of-consciousness techniques placed him in the forefront of the avant-garde. Faulkner's verbal innovations and the labyrinthine organization of his novels make him difficult to read, but his popularity continues to grow, and today he is considered by many to have been the greatest writer of fiction that the US has yet produced.

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later, at 5:08 pm:

I am now pretty darned sure my roomie is moving out. I'll miss her in some ways, but in others not so much. I guess the 'not so much' is that she is skinny and I am not, she makes excellent grades and I do not, and she is much more self-sufficient than I am. But that's just jealousy, and a disappointment in myself. Nothing about her really irks me, I don't think. Yes, she goes to bed earlier than I do, but I should be going to bed early anyway. She has said it's not me, to not take it personally...but I don't know. Mom keeps bugging me to contact someone in Housing Services to ask them: if she does move out, will I be paired with someone incompatible with me? Will they use the roommate matching service again? Methinks not. I don't really care, I'm just ready for a change of scene, and someone I have a bit more in common with. She's a bit of a germophobe, but I suppose it's better to be safe than sorry. Still, it is annoying to have her always complaining about the bathrooms. They're not THAT bad. I can't believe I live in the biggest dorm there is here. I sure don't feel like it's too big. That is I suppose my only complaint about this room--that and my squeaky bed and that internet isn't free, but cable is.

My raisin fortune for today is: "Your sense of humor is priceless." And I thought it weird.

12:00 a.m. - 2005-11-29


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