Faulkner's Voice Revealed in New Audiotapes

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Faulkner speaks! Fifty years after he spent two years as writer in residence at the University of Virginia, the school has posted online recordings of the two addresses, the dozen readings, and the 1,400 questions that students, faculty, and interested townspeople of Charlottesville, Va., posed to the author. For Faulkner fans, these 28 hours of talking and reading are Christmas in July.

Apart from brief stints in New Orleans, New York City, and Europe, Faulkner lived in only two places, Oxford, Miss., and Charlottesville, Va. He must have liked college towns. In Oxford, where he grew up and lived for most of his 64 years, he was mostly taken for granted, ignored, or joked about. Count No ’Count was his local nickname. In Charlottesville, he was treated like royalty, and that, combined with the facts that his daughter lived there and that he loved the local hunting scene (pink jackets, bugling, and riding to hounds), surely influenced his wish, cut short by his death, to move to Charlottesville permanently. Given the warm reception he got there, so audible on these recordings, it’s easy to see why....

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