Mississippi and World Set to Honor Faulkner
Hyman, Ann, The Florida Times Union
We will soon note the 100th anniversary of the birth of William
There will be big doin's to mark the occasion, especially in
Mississippi, where Faulkner was born in New Albany on Sept. 25,
Theme of the annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference, July
27-Aug. 1 at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, is
"Faulkner at 100: Retrospect and Prospect." There also will be a
centennial celebration Sept. 25-27 in the author's birthplace.
The Oxford event, sponsored by the Center for the Study of
Southern Culture, will attract scholars and fans from all over
the world to talk about Faulkner and his work, and to listen to
There will be lectures and panels, exhibits and special events,
tours, entertainments, total immersion in Southern culture from
the light and heat in Mississippi in August to fried catfish and
cold beer down a country road from Oxford in Taylor, Miss. There
will be tall and true tales of Faulkner told by friends and
Once upon a time, Faulkner was not a cause for celebration in
his hometown. Why, he was a disgrace. His books were considered
scandalous and profane, and he was considered odd and often in
A librarian at the Ole Miss library told a student who asked
for one of Faulkner's books, way back, that the library had none
and, furthermore, would never have one.
Now, sentences from Faulkner's great speech about literature
and the ascendancy of the human spirit, delivered when he
accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature, are carved on the
library's walls and everybody's proud to claim him.
Faulkner lore is an industry in Oxford.
Faulkner is sometimes described as the greatest writer of the
He is described as the greatest American writer of the 20th
He is called the greatest Southern writer of all time.
I don't know that all the attention paid to getting the right
twist on Faulkner's greatness is time and thought well-spent. He
was a great writer, in the 20th century, in the world, in
America, in the South.
There has been no other like him.
But, Faulkner was also a very difficult writer. …