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The Dixie Limited: Writers on William Faulkner and His Influence

M. Thomas Inge

Abstract

Flannery O'Connor once noted, “The presence alone of Faulkner in our midst makes a great difference in what the writer can and cannot permit himself to do. Nobody wants his mule and wagon stalled on the same track the Dixie Limited is roaring down.” Her railroading metaphor wittily captures much of the respect and unease William Faulkner's example brought the worldwide community of authors. Few other writers have exerted as profound an influence on literature as Faulkner. This book documents the scope of his influence in the twentieth century through the words of those writers themselves. The ... More

Keywords: fiction, William Faulkner, literary peers, American writers, literature

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9781496803382
Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2017 DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496803382.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

M. Thomas Inge, editor
Randolph-Macon College

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Contents

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“William Faulkner”

Donald Davidson, from Nashville Tennessean, April 11, 1926, Magazine Section, page 6. Copyright © Donald Davidson. Reprinted by permission.

“Futile Souls Adrift on a Yacht”

Lillian Hellman, from New York Herald Tribune Books, June 19, 1927, page 9. Copyright © Lillian Hellman.

“On William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury”

Evelyn Scott, new York: Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, 1929. Copyright © Evelyn Scott. Reprinted by permission of the Scott Family, with special thanks to Denise Scott Fears.

“Preface” to British edition of Soldiers’ Pay

Richard Hughes, london: Chatto and Windus, 1930. Copyright © 1930 by the Estate of Richard Hughes. Reprinted by permission of Harold Ober Associates Incorporated.

Review of Soldiers’ Pay

Arnold Bennett, from Evening Standard, June 26, 1930, page 7. Copyright © Arnold Bennett. Reprinted by permission of A. P. Watt at United Agents on behalf of Jacques Eldin.

“Gentleman from Mississippi”

Laurence Stallings, from American Mercury 34 (April 1935): 499–501. Copyright © Laurence Stallings. Reprinted by permission of Sally Stallings.

Review of As I Lay Dying

Edwin Muir, from Listener, October 16, 1935, page 681. Copyright © Edwin Muir.

“New Technique in Novel Introduced”

Wallace Stegner, from Salt Lake City Tribune, November 29, 1936, page 13-D. Copyright © Wallace Stegner. Reprinted by permission of Page Stegner.

“Tattered Banners”

Kay Boyle, from New Republic, March 9, 1938, pages 136–37. Copyright © Kay Boyle. Reprinted by permission of Ian von Franckenstein.

“On The Sound and the Fury: Time in the Work of William Faulkner”

Jean-Paul Sartre, from Literary and Philosophical Essays (New York: Criterion Books, 1955), 79–97. “À propos de le Bruit et la Fureur, la temporalité chez Faulkner” from Situations, tome I: Février 1938–septembre 1944, Nouvelle édition revue et augmentée par Arlette ElkaÏm-Sartre en 2010, © Editions Gallimard, Paris, 2010.

“Flem Snopes and His Kin”

Stephen Vincent Benét, from Saturday Review of Literature, April 6, 1940, page 7. Copyright © Stephen Vincent Benét. Reprinted by permission of Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc.

“Fiction and Life”

George Orwell, from Time and Tide, November 9, 1940, page 1097 [excerpt]. Copyright © George Orwell. Reprinted by permission of Bill Hamilton as the Literary Executor of the Estate of the late Sonia Brownell Orwell.

Journal Entries

Thornton Wilder, from The Journals of Thornton Wilder 1939–1961, edited by Donald Gallup (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1985), 18–19 (April 10, 1940), 20–21 (May 2, 1940), and 57–58 (November 6, 1949). Copyright © 1985 by the Wilder Family LLC. Reprinted by arrangement with the Wilder Family LLC and the Barbara Hogenson Agency, Inc. All rights reserved. Thanks to Tappan Wilder.

“Mr. Faulkner’s Southern Saga”

Caroline Gordon, from New York Times Book Review, May 5, 1946, Section 7, pages 1, 45. Copyright © Caroline Gordon.

“The Private World of William Faulkner”

Roark Bradford, from ’48, 2 (May 1948), 83–84, 90–94. Copyright © Roark Bradford.

Letter to Edmund Wilson

Vladimir Nabokov, november 21, 1948. Letter by Vladimir Nabokov from Dear Bunny, Dear Volodya. Copyright © 1979, 2001 by the Estate of Vladimir Nabokov, used by permission of The Wylie Agency LLC.

“A Man of the South”

Richard Wright, from Mississippi Quarterly 42 (Fall 1989): 355–57. [Originally published in French in France-Etats-Unis in December 1950.] Copyright © 1950 by Richard Wright. Reprinted by permission of John Hawkins & Associates, Inc., and the Estate of Richard Wright.

“William Faulkner: The Novel as Form”

Conrad Aiken, from The Harvard Advocate 135 (November 1951): 13, 24–26. Reprinted by permission of the Estate of Conrad Aiken and Joseph I. Killorin.

“Faulkner at Stockholm”

Archibald Macleish, from A Continuing Journey: Essays and Addresses (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1967), 163–67. [Written in 1951 and published in The Harvard Advocate 135 (November 1951): 18, 43.] Copyright © 1967 by Archibald MacLeish. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

“William Faulkner: An Impression”

John Crowe Ransom, from The Harvard Advocate 135 (November 1951): 17. Reprinted by permission of the Estate of John Crowe Ransom and Robb Forman Dew.

“Faulkner and Desegregation”

James Baldwin, from Nobody Knows My Name (New York: Vintage Books, 1961), 117–26. Copyright © 1956 by James Baldwin. Copyright renewed. Originally published in Partisan Review 23 (Fall 1956): 568–73. Used by permission of the James Baldwin Estate.

“Best Fiction of 1957”

Dorothy Parker, from Esquire, December 1957 [excerpt]. Copyright © National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

“Dark Laughter in the Towers”

Terry Southern, from The Nation, April 23, 1960, pages 348–50. Copyright © by the Terry Southern Literary Trust, Nile Southern, Trustee. Reprinted by kind permission of Nile Southern.

“William Faulkner”

Harry Golden, from Carolina Israelite, July–August 1962, page 5. Reprinted by permission of Richard Goldhurst, Harry Golden Literary Executor.

“That Time and That Wilderness”

V. S. Pritchett, from New Statesman, September 28, 1962, pages 405–6. Reprinted by permission of New Statesman.

“William Faulkner”

Allen Tate, from New Statesman, September 28, 1962, page 408. Reprinted by permission of the Estate of Allen Tate and Ellen H. Tate.

“Faulkner”

John Dos Passos, from Occasions and Protests (Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1964), 275–77. [Written in 1962 and published in National Review, January 15, 1963, page 11.] Reprinted by permission of the Estate of John Dos Passos and Lucy Dos Passos Coggin.

“Author Gave Life to Fictional County”

Eudora Welty, from On Faulkner (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2003), 43–44. [Written for the Associated Press and first published on July 7, 1962, in newspapers throughout the United States.] Copyright © 1962 by Eudora Welty and 2003 by the University Press of Mississippi. Reprinted by permission of Russell & Volkening as agents for the author.

“The Influence of William Faulkner”

George Garrett, from The Georgia Review 18 (Winter 1964): 419–27. Copyright © 1964 by the University of Georgia. Reprinted by permission of The Georgia Review.

“Faulkner: Past and Future”

Robert Penn Warren, from Faulkner: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by Robert Penn Warren (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1966), 1–22. Copyright © 1966 by Robert Penn Warren. Reprinted by permission of the William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, LLC.

“The Sounds are Furious”

Thomas Merton, from The Critic 25 (April–May 1967): 76–80. Copyright © by Thomas Merton. Reprinted by permission of Anne H. McCormick for the Merton Literary Trust.

“The Narrators”

Jorge Luis Borges, from An Introduction to American Literature (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1971), 48–49 [excerpt]. Copyright © by the translators L. Clark Keating and Robert O. Evans.

“Literary Influences”

Gabriel García Márquez, from Seven Voices: Seven Latin American Writers Talk to Rita Guibert (New York: Knopf, 1972), 326–27 [excerpt]. Copyright © by Rita Guibert.

“William Faulkner”

Wright Morris, reprinted from Earthly Delights, Unearthly Adornments: American Writers as Image-Makers by Wright Morris (New York: Harper & Row, 1978), 131–40, by permission of the University of Nebraska Press. Copyright © 1978 by Wright Morris.

“Emerging as a Writer in Faulkner’s Mississippi”

Elizabeth Spencer, from Faulkner and the Southern Renaissance, ed. Doreen Fowler and Ann J. Abadie (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1982), 120–37. [Written in 1981.] Copyright © 1982 by Elizabeth Spencer. Reprinted by kind permission of Elizabeth Spencer.

“The Three Kings: Hemingway, Faulkner, and Fitzgerald”

Richard Ford, from Esquire, December 1983, pages 577–86. Copyright © 1983 by Richard Ford. Reprinted by permission of Richard Ford and with the kind assistance of Kristina Ford.

“Reading Faulkner from a Writer’s Point of View”

Kenzaburo Oe, from Faulkner in Japan, ed. Thomas L. McHaney (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1985), 62–75. [Written in 1981.] Copyright © by Kenzaburo Oe. Reprinted by permission of the University of Georgia Press.

“Faulkner’s Mississippi”

Willie Morris, from National Geographic 175 (March 1989): 312–39. Copyright © Willie Morris. Reprinted by permission of the Estate of Willie Morris and JoAnne Prichard Morris.

“The Faulkner Thing”

John Grisham, from The Oxford American 1 (Spring 1992): 8–9. Copyright © by John Grisham. Reprinted by permission of John Grisham.

“History, Rooted in the Present”

Carlos Fuentes, from Los Angeles Times, September 26, 1997, page C8. Copyright © 1997 by Carlos Fuentes. Used by permission of Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents, Inc. All rights reserved.

“On Coming Late to Faulkner”

Padgett Powell, from The Oxford American 18 (1997); 26–29. Copyright © Padgett Powell. Reprinted by permission of Padgett Powell.

“Lee Smith Talks about Southern Writing”

Lee Smith, from Kathryn B. McKee, “News of the Spirit,” The Southern Register (Winter 1998): 15–17 [excerpt]. Reprinted by permission of Kathryn B. McKee.

“Absalom, Absalom!”

Paul West, from For the Love of Books: 115 Celebrated Writers on the Books They Love Most, ed. Ronald B. Schwartz (New York: Grosset/Putnam, 1999), 275–78. Copyright © by Paul West. Reprinted by permission of Paul West.

“The Book That Changed My Life”

Alice Mcdermott, from The Book That Changed My Life, ed. Dianne Osen (New York: Modern Library, 2002), 115–16. Copyright © by Alice McDermott. Reprinted by permission of Alice McDermott.

“William Faulkner and His Biographers”

J. M. Coetzee, from Inner Workings: Literary Essays 2000–2005 (New York: Viking, 2007), 189–206. [Written in 2005 and published in New York Review of Books, April 7, 2005, pages 20, 22–24.] Copyright © 2007 by J. M. Coetzee. Reprinted by permission.

End Matter