William Cuthbert Faulkner was a Mississippi-born novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, poet, essayist, and playwright, as well as the winner of both the Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes. His work came at an extremely polarizing time in United States history, living through two world wars and the Great Depression, and this was additionally a time when the Southern states remained extremely segregated…and extremely racist. Faulkner himself was a proud Southerner, yet his work reflects a profound understanding of race relations in the 1920s-1950s throughout the South, and goes so far as to make the point that racism is poisoning the southern United States – remember, this is during the Jim Crow years, the rise of the KKK, and Faulkner was revolutionary in that he threw the spotlight on the South’s inability to move on from Civil War times and their horrible treatment of the black community. When I began researching Faulkner I was a little terrified in that I was not aware of his personal politics. The more I learned, the more impressed I became. When, in 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi, most in that state turned away or shrugged it off – and as we all know that woman recounted her story years later. Faulkner said, ““If we in America have reached that point in our desperate culture when we must murder children, no matter for what reason or what color, we don’t deserve to survive, and probably won’t.” His novel, The Sound and the Fury, to this day is considered one of the one hundred greatest novels from the 20th century in the English language, as it reflects the social paradigms of that age many writers shied away from. He was a man named after his renegade great-grandfather, a man who told a story America needed to hear, and of course, a gentleman. Who is ready to hear all about Mr. William Faulkner?

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