John Florens | Nov 19, 2023
Table of Content
- Childhood years
- The birth of the family literary tradition
- The teenage years
- The course at the British Air Force
- Early writings
- In New York and the post office.
- A year in New Orleans and Europe
- The return to Oxford
- Marriage to Estelle
- Il suono e il furore
- As I Lay Dying
- Work in Hollywood
- Light in August
- Absalom, Absalom!
- The Unvanquished
- Later works
- The Nobel and beyond
William Cuthbert Faulkner, born Falkner (New Albany, September 25, 1897 - Byhalia, July 6, 1962), was an American writer, screenwriter, poet and playwright, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949.
Considered one of the most important American novelists of the 20th century, author of often provocative and narratively complex works, his elliptical prose is in fact characterized by writing dense with pathos and great psychological depth, with long, syntactically sinuous periods rendered by meticulous attention to style and compositional language, so much so that in his lifetime he was considered the natural rival of Ernest Hemingway, who opposed him with his equally famous concise and minimalist style.
He is also believed to be perhaps the only true American modernist writer of the 1930s, in that he is the only one who was able to reconnect with that rich array of European experimental writers such as James Joyce, Virginia Woolf and Marcel Proust, thanks to his very frequent use of literary tools and modes that were innovative for the time, such as stream of consciousness, and his narratives elaborated through the interweaving of multiple points of view and the extensive use of time jumps in the chronology of the plot.
Faulkner was born William Falkner (without the u: one of the first editors mistakenly wrote Falkner's name as "Faulkner" and the author decided to keep that surname) in New Albany, Mississippi fifty miles from Oxford, the first of four children of Murry Cuthbert Falkner (1870-1932) and Maud Butler (1871-1960). Murry Charles "Jack" Falkner (1899-1975), John Falkner (1901-1963), and Dean Swift Falkner (1907-1935) were then born. Murry Falkner had gone to New Albany to work in the railroad company of his father, John Wesley Thompson Falkner, the writer's grandfather, who in turn had inherited it from his father, "old Colonel" William Clark Falkner, the writer's great-grandfather, who had founded it in 1868 naming the railroad trunk "Ripley Ship Island and Kentucky" (Ripley Railroad, now the Ripley and New Albany Railroad).
When William was born, his father was a stationmaster in New Albany and later, having been appointed administrator of the company, moved with the family to Ripley. When his father was forced out on September 24, 1902, because the railroad had been sold by William's grandfather, he and the family moved to Oxford, where he became interested in farming, became a representative of "Standard Oil," a cottonseed crusher, an ice factory, and a hardware firm, until, in 1918, he was appointed secretary and administrator of the University of Mississippi.
In Oxford, the Falkners had gone to live near their maternal and paternal parents, and employed a maid, Caroline Barr (called "Mammy Callie") who taught the boys the names of plants and birds and told stories. William became friends with cousin Sallie (born 1899), but especially with Estelle Oldham, a neighbor's daughter, playmate, his first love and later, after other loves, his wife.
Little William's childhood was happy, and his experiences in the environment of the Deep South helped the formation of his fantasy world.
He spent a lot of time with his father beside the horse pens, and when he was old enough to ride, he was given a pony. Always with his father he explored nature, wandering the woods and observing with an increasingly keen eye the impoverishment due to economic exploitation. But he also gave himself to reading, exploring the literature of Melville, Twain, Shakespeare, Conrad, Joel Chandler Harris or Sherwood Anderson.
Then began his interest in former black slaves whom he saw humiliated by racial discrimination, and especially began his love for all the myths and legends of his homeland to which the writer approached by listening to stories about his family and in particular his great-grandfather, William Clark Falkner.
The birth of the family literary tradition
His great-grandfather had been an important figure in the state's history: he had come to Mississippi's Tippah County in Ripley in 1839, after running away from home when he was only 14 years old to join an uncle who had later put him through law school; he had fought during the Civil War among the Confederates with the rank of colonel and led the Battle of Manassas in 1861 (he had built a railroad and given his own name, Falkner, to a town in the nearby county.
He had married, had seen his wife die as a result of giving birth to his eldest son John, William's grandfather, had participated in some duels, had remarried to a childhood partner by whom he had three sons and two daughters, and from these events the great-grandson writer would later build the saga and legend of his family.
Also important to the great-grandson's career were his works, including many novels, which gave rise to a family literary tradition.
The "old colonel" had in fact written a novel, entitled The White Rose of Memphis, first published serially in Ripley's newspaper and later becoming a bestseller, in which he recounted his adventures. In 1882 he had published another novel set in New York City, and in 1884 his impressions of a trip he had made to Europe, where he recounted that in Italy he had a statue carved for himself that would later be placed at his grave opposite the railroad.
This story would later be retold by Faulkner in Sartoris, where the inspiration for the character of John Sartoris would derive precisely from the figure of his great-grandfather, and in other stories, both in those collected in The Unvanquished and in many others.
Given the social and historical distinctiveness of the southern United States, it is understandable that the young Faulkner was influenced by and drew from the history of his own family and region. Mississippi marked his sense of humor, his feeling of the tragic contrast between blacks and whites, his crisp characterizations of typical characters, and his recurring themes, such as the idea that behind the appearance of simpletons and eternal good guys, brilliant and out-of-the-ordinary minds could be uncovered.
Faulkner himself told a humorous anecdote to which he traced his decision to become a writer. He narrated that as a young man he used to get drunk at night with friends. Among them was the then already well-known writer Sherwood Anderson. Observing him, Faulkner thought, "Nice job writing. In the morning you work, in the afternoon you correct a little, and before dinner you are free to go and get drunk with friends." He then communicated to Anderson that he had decided to become a writer himself. From that evening, for a month, Anderson deserted ethyl meetings. At the end of the month Sherwood Anderson's wife knocked on Faulkner's door and told him, "Sherwood says if you swear never to talk to him about literature he will get you published by his publisher. He's sick of being cooped up in his house for fear of meeting another writer." Faulkner was a prankster, of course, and enjoyed coloring this anecdote, but his first novel was actually published by Sherwood Anderson's publisher.
William's grandfather, the "young colonel," was easy to argue with and rather arrogant, with a reputation as a big drinker. He had founded the Bank of Oxford in 1912, which had then failed, and established another, First National, from which, however, he had later withdrawn his money to deposit it in the rival bank because he had not been reappointed as a director. He died in 1922, when William was 25 years old.
Instead, from his father William inherited only his name: he was a quiet man and lived as a lapsed Southerner. Together with his brothers and African-American nurse, child William spent time in the woods taking birds' eggs from nests or unearthing old war relics scattered everywhere by soldiers during the Civil War. On Sundays he went to mass with his brothers or spent time, on bad weather days, playing in a room they themselves had painted red.
It was a happy and peaceful existence, in contact with the black women who worked in the house as maids, the African-American coachman who taught him how to drive the buggy, and the former cooks and laundresses whom he and his father visited in their homes. It was these characters who would become the protagonists of much of his fiction in which he many times described those characters without even changing their names.
The teenage years
During his teenage years, which he spent peacefully, his interest in the arts began, and he wrote his first poems. In 1915 he dropped out of school, and for two years he studied as a self-taught artist while begrudgingly working in his grandfather's bank. He then set out to attend the University of Mississippi campus, without being enrolled there.
The course at the British Air Force
In 1918, Estelle, with whom the young man was in love, announced her engagement to Cornell Franklin, a law graduate and legal practitioner in Hawaii. William declared himself to her parents, but they preferred the other, who offered more security. So he quit his job at the bank and moved to Oxford where he worked briefly in a gun store. He later tried to join the Air Force but was not accepted because he had not attended college. Rumors that Faulkner was rejected by the U.S. Army Air Force because of his short stature, although they have been widely circulated, are false.
Despite his claims, records indicate that Faulkner was never a member of the British Air Force and never served on active duty during World War I. Despite his letters stating this, Faulkner did not receive cockpit training and never even flew. Faulkner returned to Oxford in December 1918, where he told fake war stories to acquaintances and even pretended to have suffered a war wound.
In the winter of 1918-1919 he published his first poems and short stories in the Oxford "Eagle" newspaper, the university magazine "The Mississippian" and "New Republic" (on August 6, 1919, the long poem entitled L'après-midi d'un faune).
The summer of 1919 Faulkner spent it as a golf instructor on the university campus, in which in September he was admitted to a special course for ex-combatants. He took French, Spanish and English literature courses for a few quarters, but never graduated. In addition to his early writings, he also contributed translations (from Paul Verlaine) and reviews (on Conrad Aiken, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Eugene O'Neill) to "The Mississippian," helped build the tennis court, and attended the pro-dramatic group of "The Marionettes."
Among other things, he met Estelle, who was visiting his parents from Hawaii bringing their daughter Victoria with her, and gave her an 88-page typescript of poems entitled Vision in Spring.
In New York and the post office.
In November '19 he went to New York to visit his friend Stark Young, who was living in a rented room with Elizabeth Prall, future wife of Sherwood Anderson. She ran Scribner's bookstore, and William agreed to work there as a clerk.
On December 3, 1921, he returned to Oxford, and in March 1922 he obtained a position at the university post office where his father worked. Not always cooperative with colleagues and customers, he did not deliver magazines to subscribers until he had read them or lent them to friends, and mostly spent his time writing more than sorting mail. The salary was low, and he came up with a variety of jobs: he founded an insurance company, the "Bluebird Insurance Company," which insured students against flunking but was later outlawed by the university itself; he organized a Boy Scout troop; and he took boys into the woods to study natural history.
In October 1924 he left his post at the post office and in December of that year published, at his own expense and with the help and preface of Phil Stone, a collection of poems entitled The Marble Faun: one thousand copies of which he managed to sell only about fifty.
A year in New Orleans and Europe
In January 1925 he went to New Orleans to meet Sherwood Anderson, intending then to leave for Europe but, the trip having been postponed for six months, he began contributing to The Double Dealer magazine and the Sunday edition of the Times-Picayune for ten dollars a week. During this period he also met Anita Loos and fell in love with Helen Baird, a sculptor.
In March Sherwood arrived with Joseph Conrad, who was among Faulkner's most valued writers, and under his influence he began to write prose. In a few weeks he wrote The Soldier's Pay, during the process titled Mayday, which, thanks to Sherwood's recommendation to his publisher, Boni & Liveright, came out in 1926 achieving little success and poor sales. Meanwhile, with his painter friend William Spratling he managed to travel to Europe and visited Italy, Switzerland and Paris, where he lived on the "rive-gauche" of the Seine and grew a beard. Perhaps he also met James Joyce whose Ulysses he had read.
The return to Oxford
Toward the end of 1925 Faulkner returned to Oxford and during the spring of 1926 was a golf instructor while in the summer he worked first at a sawmill and later on fishing boats. Along with Soldiers' Pay (which his mother deemed scandalous and his father refused to read) he saw printings of a collection of caricatures of famous New Orleans characters, Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles, with drawings by William Spratling, which cost him the loss of Sherwood's friendship.
Meanwhile, Estelle had returned to Oxford and was divorcing her husband. William gave her daughter for her eighth birthday a colorful manuscript entitled The Wishing Tree. In March 1927 Helen Baird married another man.
In April 1927 Mosquitoes was published, which satirically describes New Orleans literary society. The book was unsuccessful, and the publisher "Boni & Liveright," which had already published Soldier's Pay, suspended the contract under which it had undertaken to publish three more books by the author.
Marriage to Estelle
Despite the fact that Flags in the Dust was also rejected (through his friend Ben Wasson, now a literary agent in New York) by no fewer than 11 publishing houses, Faulkner was not discouraged and continued to write while trying to make a living doing disparate and odd jobs, including painting and carpentry. On June 20, 1929, after her divorce became final, he married his never-to-be-forgotten Estelle, his first and only wife, who would faithfully support him to the end of his days.
Among the odd jobs in the summer of 1929, before Sartoris (a cut and re-titled version of Flags in the Dust) came out, was as a stoker at the University's power plant, but Faulkner during his off-peak hours, usually between midnight and 4 a.m., continued tirelessly to write.
In 1929 Sartoris came out, in the "Harcourt, Brace" edition, the first novel set in the mythical Yoknapatawpha County: a faithful reproduction of Lafayette County, where Faulkner lived throughout most of his life.
The story told in the novel is that of the author's great-grandfather and grandfather and will begin the Faulknerian strand with its imaginary but ultimately realistic reconstruction of the history of the nineteenth-century South.
Faulkner met on this occasion the writer James Silver, later a professor at the University of Mississippi, who had brought his dissertation on the Civil War to him to read. It was the beginning of a long friendship.
Il suono e il furore
Also released in October of that year (1929) was The Sound and the Fury, which chronicles the drama of an old Southern family, the Compsons, once wealthy and now in decay. Although the novel was considered by the author himself to be his best and received good or rave reviews, it was not successful and remains to this day one of his most difficult and enigmatic works.
As I Lay Dying
Then, in 1930, As I Lay Dying was published, written quickly from October 15 to December 11 of the previous year, but, as had been the case with The Scream and the Fury, the book did not garner any acclaim.
Meanwhile, three magazines published his writings. "Forum," with national distribution, ran the short story A Rose for Emily in its April issue, "The Saturday Evening Post" in its September Thrift issue, and "Scribner's" in its January 1931 Dry September issue.
In April 1930 William and Estelle had bought a dilapidated house on land just outside Oxford. They named it "Rowan Oak" and began work, including by Faulkner himself, to make it habitable. When they were able to move in, in addition to Estelle's two children, the servants Caroline Barr and Ned Barnett, known as "Uncle Ned," later went to live there.
The sale of the short stories Red Leaves and Lizards in Jamshyd's Courtyard to "The Saturday Evening Post" earned the couple $750: more than all the novels written up to that time.
On January 11, 1931, daughter Alabama was born prematurely and died after only 9 days.
During these years Faulkner, in an effort to make money, had the idea for Sanctuary, a novel of sensational value, written in a style anticipating pulp, which was published in 1931 finally bringing him success and greatly alleviating his financial problems.
In Sanctuary Faulkner tackles, in an incredibly timely way, the themes of corruption and evil in a tone defined as Gothic. The book produced a considerable scandal in Oxford, and as Fernanda Pivano writes "Friends and relatives read the book surreptitiously, wrapping it in heavy papers as they carried it from MacReed's store to the house, and immediately going to protest to the author. It was all too evident, beyond all that, that the author was showing that he knew a little too closely the circles that seemed ill-famed in those Rose Years: the bootleggers of alcohol, the brothels, the maîtresses."
But in the meantime, Faulkner, thanks to income from sales of the novel, but also from the first European editions of his books that were beginning to come out in London and Paris, was able to finish restoring his two-story colonial-style house.
The house had been built in 1836 by an Irish planter, later inherited by the Anderson family who had used it as a farm (in whose orchard William and the brothers had stolen fruit while going for a swim in the woodland pond). When Faulkner had bought it, the house lacked electricity and running water, but it had a fairly large pasture that could have become a gallop; and also a tennis court easily converted into a wide esplanade, as was later done.
Work in Hollywood
With the release of Sanctuary came success. The short story Spotted Horses came out in "Scribner's" (June 1931) and the short story collection These 13 in September at "Cape & Smith." Faulkner especially got to attend conferences, meet fellow writers (including Dorothy Parker, H. L. Mencken, Robert Benchley, John O'Hara, John Dos Passos, Frank Sullivan, Dashiell Hammett, Lillian Hellman, Nathanael West, etc.) and other editors.
Success, however, also meant receiving the attention of Hollywood producers.Here Faulkner began to collaborate and then worked for the next two decades, dividing his time between the hectic movie town and the quietly paced life of Oxford.
Among the stories published Turn About (in "The Saturday Night Evening Post" of March 1932), the introduction to the new edition of Sanctuary (1932), Idyll in the Desert (published by Random House in a limited edition of 400 copies).
In May 1932 F. worked for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for less than a week; then he was hired by Howard Hawks to write the screenplay for the film Heroic Rivalry.
Light in August
In 1932 he published Light in August and sold the rights to make the film Perdition. The following year he took his pilot's license, and on June 24 his daughter Jill was born.
In the fall he bought a biplane from his pilot friend Vernon Omlie and, to help his brother Dean, asked him to teach him to fly. The three of them will make several flights and even some public demonstrations under the name "W. Faulkner Famous Author Air Circus." The brother would later die on November 10, 1935 in a plane crash.
In April 1934 the short story collection Doctor Martino and Other Stories came out and later, still in "The Saturday Evening Post," the short stories Ambuscade, Retreat and Raid.
In March 1935 Pylon (Pylon) came out. The death of his brother Dean, who left his wife Louise pregnant, also threw him into despondency because he felt responsible for it. He continued his relationship with Howard Hawks, for whom he worked on several 20th Century Fox projects. That same year he began a love affair with his secretary, Meta Doherty Carpenter (1908-1994), which lasted for more than 15 years.
While finishing Absalom, Absalom! (Absalom, Absalom!, 1936) and the screenplay for The Paths of Glory he ended up in the hospital due to alcoholism. His wife also became a prey to the drinking habit. The two for a time lived in Santa Monica, California, while he wrote the screenplay for The Greatest Adventure, later directed by John Ford.
In 1937, during a trip to New York, he recovered his friendship with Sherwood Anderson. Then he was taken back by his friend Eric J. Devine to Oxford so that he could get sober from alcohol.
At the end of the year, while working on several stories, later published with The Wild Palms, he read aloud John Keats and A. E. Housman to his stepdaughter Victoria, who had returned home to her mother after the failure of her first marriage.
In 1938 he released The Unvanquished, later considered one of his masterpieces. From the sale of the film rights he earned enough to buy land by expanding the boundaries of his estate. At the end of the year he took on Harold Ober as his new literary agent.
The success was temporary, however, considering that between 1931 and 1945 his work went almost unnoticed in America and Faulkner's fame was greater in Europe: especially in France, where he was published by Gaston Gallimard and had the support of intellectuals such as Gide, Malraux and Sartre.
After these works, Faulkner wrote books of less incisive force such as The Wild Palms, 1939, The Hamlet (The Hamlet, 1940, part of the so-called "Snopes" trilogy, named after the protagonist family, which also includes The Town, 1957 and The Mansion, 1959), the short story The Bear (in "The Saturday Evening Post" in November 1941) or Go Down, Moses (1942, which he considered a novel: despite the publisher who wanted to add and Other Stories to it).
This is a time of new economic hardship, with the war tightening the purse strings or converting the stories it produces into war propaganda. In Hollywood, when he could not find work, Faulkner went fishing with Clark Gable. He still managed to collaborate on the film Archipelago on Fire.
In 1944 he was hosted by his writer friend A. I. Bezzerides and worked on the films Southern Waters, based on Ernest Hemingway; The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler; and Mildred's Romance by James M. Cain.
In 1946, thanks to critic Malcolm Cowley, who popularized his difficult prose in the anthology he edited The Portable Faulkner published for Viking Press, Faulkner's work was revived. In addition, the short story An Error in Chemistry won second prize in a contest held by Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.
The following year the writer worked on The Valley of the Sun (original title: Stallion Road) and briefly on Jean Renoir's The Man from the South. Somehow, however, he felt in crisis with Warner Bros. for whom he was working and took refuge in Rowan Oak. In April he gave six literature lectures at the University of Mississippi, on the condition that they not be recorded or notes taken.
In 1948 Faulkner published the novel Intruder in the Dust and in 1949 a collection of mystery stories titled Knight's Gambit where the main character was Gavin Stevens (who also appeared in August Light and Get Down, Moses), a detective and lawyer with a deep knowledge of the lives and habits of the inhabitants of Yoknapatawpha County.
Many of his short stories and novels have as their theater the fictional county of Yoknapatawpha, to describe which the writer drew inspiration from the county, almost identical in geography, of Lafayette in Mississippi, whose county seat was his hometown of Oxford. Yoknapatawpha is his trademark and is considered one of the most monumental fictional creations in the history of literature.
The Nobel and beyond
In 1949 he was visited by writers like Eudora Welty and filmmakers like Clarence Brown, and also won the "O. Henry Prize" for the short story A Courtship. Later he offered himself as a mentor to Joan Williams and published Collected Stories of William Faulkner (1950), without expecting (he was announced on Nov. 10 and presented on Dec. 10) the Nobel Prize in Literature for the year 1949 (his daughter Jill accompanied him.
In 1951 he wrote Requiem for a Nun, a play in three acts preceded by long prologues without dialogue. The writing was half a work of fiction and half a play, with the two parts alternating with each other. Faulkner himself, when questioned about it by reporters, declared that that was simply "the form he thought most congenial to the story he wanted to tell."
From Requiem for a Nun a French stage version was made in 1956 by Albert Camus.
In 1951 Faulkner also collaborated on the screenplay for The Left Hand of God, again for Howard Hawks, but the film was made years later by Edward Dmytryk without the author's signature.
In 1952, while raising horses, he fell twice, damaging his back. He then accepted an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Tulane University, declaring during the ceremony that he would never accept another one. During a trip to Paris, where he fell several times, the doctors who examined him noticed that his back had several fractures, but the writer refused to have surgery as also later, when in Memphis he was hospitalized for the same problem (and for depression and alcoholism).
In 1953 he wrote the quasi-autobiographical essay Mississippi for "Holiday" magazine (April 1954) and wanted to attend the funeral of Dylan Thomas, whom he had just met. He then collaborated on the screenplay for The Queen of the Pyramids.
In 1954 he published the allegorical novel A Fable, which won him the National Book Award for fiction and the Pulitzer Prize. That same year his daughter Jill married Paul D. Summers and moved to Charlottesville, Virginia.
In 1955 he published An Innocent at Rinkside for "Sports Illustrated" and the lecture On Privacy in "The Harper's" (but written for the University of Oregon and the University of Montana where he delivered it in April).
A new collection of short stories, Big Woods on the theme of hunting, came out the same year; then finished the trilogy (consisting of The Hamlet, The Town and The Mansion).
Several successful films were based on his works with the author still alive, such as The Long Hot Summer (based on The Hamlet) and The Sound and the Fury, both by Martin Ritt, or Douglas Sirk's The Trapeze of Life (based on Pylon).
In 1962 his last book, The Reivers, was released.
Although the latter part of his life was marked by the serious problem of alcoholism and he was in and out of several hospitals during his long travels (in Europe, but also in Latin America and Japan and the Philippines), his condition did not prevent him from attending the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature and delivering one of the most morally significant speeches ever heard on that occasion. Faulkner decided, moreover, to donate his prize to the establishment of a fund aimed at helping and encouraging new literary talent, the Faulkner Prize.
He died at the age of sixty-four on July 6, 1962, of an acute myocardial infarction in Wright's Sanitorium Hospital in Byhalia, Mississippi, and was buried in St. Peter Cemetery in Oxford.
The old Oxford house was donated to the University of Mississippi in memory of the writer and with the intent of providing housing for journalism students.
- William Faulkner
- William Faulkner
- ^ MWP: William Faulkner (1897-1962), su mwp.olemiss.edu. URL consultato il 20 maggio 2022 (archiviato dall'url originale il 2 gennaio 2018).
- ^ Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Railroad: Map, Photos, Trains, History, su American-Rails.com. URL consultato il 20 maggio 2022.
- ^ Tra gli amici Phil Stone, Stark Young, Ben Wasson ecc. Sherwood Anderson lo incontrò nel 1924.
- ^ James G. Watson, William Faulkner : self-presentation and performance, 1st ed, University of Texas Press, 2000, ISBN 0-292-79131-3, OCLC 42049268. URL consultato il 20 maggio 2022.
- ^ (EN) Carolyn Porter, William Faulkner: Lives and Legacies, Oxford University Press, 24 maggio 2007, ISBN 978-0-19-804239-6. URL consultato il 20 maggio 2022.
- ^ He proposed marriage to her before Faulkner did. Her parents insisted she marry Franklin for various reasons: he was an Ole Miss law graduate, had recently been commissioned as a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard, and came from a respectable family with whom they were old friends.
- ^ The original version was issued as Flags in the Dust in 1973.
- c'est William qui ajoutera un « u » à son patronyme)
- William Clark Falkner (en)
- Une vie, une œuvre, émission sur France Culture (Diffusion du 16.01.2011 - 16:00) avec Olivier Sebban, romancier, invité
- a et b Joseph Blotner, Faulkner, a biography, University Press of Mississippi, 2005, p. 215-221 (ISBN 1578067324)
- Gero von Wilpert (Hrsg.): Lexikon der Weltliteratur. Bd. 1. dtv, München 1997, ISBN 3-423-59050-5, S. 450.
- Marion Winkenbach, Annette Zwahr (redaktionelle Leitung): Der Brockhaus. Universal-Lexikon in 20 Bänden. Bd. 5, F. A. Brockhaus AG, Leipzig 2007
- Peter Nicolaisen: William Faulkner. Mit Selbstzeugnissen und Bilddokumenten. 4. Auflage. Rowohlt, Reinbek 2004, ISBN 3-499-50300-X, S. 9f.