SELECTED LETTERS OF WILLIAM FAULKNER by William Faulkner

SELECTED LETTERS OF WILLIAM FAULKNER

KIRKUS REVIEW

These letters, written between 1918 and 1962, and selected and edited by the author of Faulkner: A Biography, may disappoint the majority of readers; they yield neither the picture of private affairs and sentiments nor the record of compositional experimentation that, for example, Virginia Woolf's correspondence does. But Faulkner was no lover of the letter-writer's art. When he wrote to his agents, editors, publishers, and Hollywood employers--and these letters constitute 90 percent of the present volume--he maintained a firm emphasis upon the difficult business of making a living from his craft. He'd often inquire about the disposition of a magazine story, for instance, or ask for an advance on royalties after describing meticulously the books his publishers could expect to receive in return. This isn't to say that Faulkner's irony, jocosity, well-known political convictions and liking for a colorful story are entirely absent; only that none of the letters approach the intensity and rhetorical power of the novels. Then, too, the most intimate letters--those to Faulkner's women, those about family crises, even some quoted at length in Blotner's biography--have been deleted or chopped to bits. As a result, this selection will be most rewarding for those interested in the considerable irregularities of Faulkner's publishing career, and in his synoptic notes about works-in-progress. Blotner's explanatory footnotes are helpful and concise.
Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1976
ISBN: 0394725050
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1976




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