FAULKNER: A Biography by Joseph Blotner

FAULKNER: A Biography

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At 1846 pages, exclusive of appendices, Blotner's two-volume Faulkner (1974) was widely lambasted for its unselective detailing--and for its worshipful, academic, un-probing approach. The first flaw, then, is dramatically addressed in this one-volume condensation, which dispenses with over 1000 pages' worth of facts and asides--starting with the Falkner (sic)family-history that occupied the 1974 version's first 50 pages or so. Most of the excised material--documentary minutiae, lavish background descriptions, pedantic annotations of the fiction--will not be missed; Blotner has done a sturdy job of rewriting to close the page-by-paga gaps, as well as providing updates from post-1974 scholarship. The more fundamental problem, however, remains: the absence of both a strong narrative shape and a cogent interpretive approach (biographical or literary). A far-more-readable chronicle of the Faulkner life, then, and again a valuable source of raw material--but those who considered the Blotner an undistinguished study before are unlikely to have a different opinion of this shorter version.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1984
ISBN: 1578067324
Publisher: Random House