On July 6th in 1962, one of our very favorite writers, William Faulkner, died of a heart attack at the age of 64 in Mississippi.
Faulkner is commonly referred to as a “Southern Gothic” writer, and was one of the founders of Modernist American Literature and stream of consciousness writing. Though he is most often remembered as a novelist, Faulkner also wrote poetry and screenplays.
He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949 and he is widely considered one of the most influential Southern writers, alongside Mark Twain, Flannery O’Connor and Tennessee Williams, to name a few.
Our favorite Faulkner pieces include The Sound and the Fury, The Unvanquished and the controversial short story “A Rose for Emily”. It is interesting to note that Faulkner was responsible for the screen adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s “The Big Sleep”, which happens to be a favorite film here at Dead Writers. He also wrote the screenplay for “To Have and Have Not”, by his contemporary Ernest Hemingway.
Like Twain, Faulkner used diction and accents as a very effective character device in his works. Flannery O’Connor (the veritable queen of southern gothic literature) once said of Faulkner:
"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."
The above quote certainly sums up our feeling on the man. Brilliant.
Today, we encourage our readers to pour themselves a nice glass of sweet tea and get lost in the grotesque narrative of one of Faulkner’s short stories!
Write on in peace, Mr. Faulkner!
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