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Thinking of Home : William Faulkner's Letters to His Mother and Father, 1918-1925 - William Faulkner

Thinking of Home

William Faulkner's Letters to His Mother and Father, 1918-1925

Paperback Published: 1st December 2000
ISBN: 9780393321234
Number Of Pages: 230

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"How often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home," says Darl Bundren in William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. How much Faulkner himself is speaking may be suggested by this moving collection of nearly 150 letters. Written during his twenties, these letters describe Faulkner's first encounters with the North ("...I made my first subway trip yesterday. The experience showed me that we are not descended from monkeys, as some say, but from lice."); his brief World War I military service, which grew in the retelling; the productive New Orleans months with Sherwood Anderson; and his first trip to Europe, with cold autumn days in Paris ("Good thing the Lord gave these folks wine--they rate a recompense of some kind for this climate.") Fascinating in themselves for their close observation of people and places, the letters also offer glimmers of The Sound and the Fury and other future works, as the young writer stores up characters, settings, and events that will re-emerge, transformed, int the great novels of his maturity. Never before published, these letters are from the Faulkner collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. "These letters, for years sequestered and unavailable, are among the most informative, touching, and eloquent William Faulkner ever wrote. No Faulkner specialist can be without this book; no Faulkner admirer should be without it."-Joseph Blotner, author of Faulkner: A Biography

Industry Reviews

Some 150 letters home by the young Faulkner, who is way up north in New York and New Haven, or in New Orleans or in France. These previously unpublished letters are distinguished by Faulkner's softly edged humor about strangers and their strange practices and by his mellifluous impressions of place. The lengthy introduction by Watson (English/Univ. of Tulsa) ties them in with Faulkner's early novels Soldier's Pay and Mosquitoes and shows them as generating background detail for Quentin Compson and other characters in his major works. Faulkner's voice is a pleasure to listen to, his southern tones filling every page, and he is not above making fun of himself: "I saw one of the most attractive girls this afternoon. She sells cheap jewelry at Woolworth's. I bought a gaudy comb which I am sending Mammy, to talk to her...I really would like to have her where I could sit and look at her when ever I liked." During the seven years covered here, Faulkner gets a job at the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. in New Haven ("I am holding three jobs now. One of them keeps me chasing all over the plant. I am seriously considering that they furnish me with roller skates"); trains as a Royal Air Force pilot in Canada (although WW I ends before he gets overseas); is homesick constantly; writes poetry; and enrolls in the Univ. of Mississippi. He then clerks in a Doubleday bookstore in Manhattan as his letters grow quite witty and beautiful ("you pass through tight little New England villages built around plots of grass they call greens...there is a feeling of the most utter relief, as if I could close my eyes, knowing I have found again someone who loved me years and years ago"); spends six months on Soldier's Pay in New Orleans in the company of Sherwood Anderson; goes abroad; and corrects proofs of Soldier's Pay for Boni & Liveright. Sweet little basket of nuts and berries. (Kirkus Reviews)

Acknowledgmentsp. 9
Introductionp. 11
August 1912p. 15
April to June 1918p. 19
July to December 1918p. 45
October to December 1921p. 119
January to July 1925p. 143
October to December 1925p. 193
Censusp. 211
Indexp. 225
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780393321234
ISBN-10: 0393321231
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 230
Published: 1st December 2000
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.97  x 1.52
Weight (kg): 0.3

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