William Faulkner

"The Old Man"

William Faulkner reads from his story "The Old Man." This excerpt includes a dizzying range of plot elements, including a fleeing convict who is guiding a boat over the flooding Mississippi; on board is a pregnant woman about to give birth. Faulkner was born in Mississippi in 1897 and set many of his stories along the river in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1949 and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1954 and 1962.

Wiliam Faulkner's Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

William Faulkner reads his speech accepting the Nobel Prize in Literature, which he was awarded in 1949. At the time this speech was given, the world had just emerged from the chaos of the Second World War, and the threat of atomic annihilation hung over humanity. Faulkner's faith in the human spirit, as expressed in this speech, rejects in his way the horrors of the preceding decade.

"As I Lay Dying"

William Faulkner, reads from his novel "As I Lay Dying," which was published in 1930. The novel tells the story of a mother's death and her family's travails in carrying her to Jefferson, Mississippi, to be buried. The novel is written in many short sections, each named after the character whose point of view and thoughts are expressed. This is one of the "Vardeman" sections.

"A Fable"

William Faulkner reads an excerpt from his novel "A Fable." Faulkner was the scion of an old Mississippi family, and drew from his personal and family history for his work. In this book, however, Faulkner departs from his usual use of the Mississippi milieu and uses for his plot a religious allegory set in France during World War I. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize in 1954.

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