Old Times in the Faulkner Country

Old Times in the Faulkner Country

Old Times in the Faulkner Country

Old Times in the Faulkner Country

Excerpt

"The artist," William Faulkner has said, "is influenced by all in his environment. He's maybe more sensitive to it because he has to get the materials, the lumber that he's going to build his edifice with." In this statement Faulkner has described two worlds: one is the edifice, the fiction, the world that he has made, the product of his creative imagination. The other is Faulkner's environment, "his own experience of people," what he has called "the lumber in the attic."

Perhaps to the pure critic "the lumber" is unimportant, because the final edifice is not the original forest. But the relationship between the two worlds has been a major subject of dispute among Faulkner's readers. One group goes so far as to deny that Faulkner is writing about the South. Instead, they say, he is creating a world of universal values, a myth of modern times; his books are primarily philosophical and psychological and aesthetic creations, and only accidentally considerations of the problems of the South. The sociologist and the historian see in the books a treatment of Southern life or of cultural patterns of the Western world. But the Southerner sees his South, and if he is from Mississippi, especially . . .

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