The mere name Faulkner often strikes fear into the hearts of readers of American literature. His constant variation in his prose style and sentences has baffled minds for nearly eight decades. Long sentences, which sometimes run for pages without punctuation of any sort, are his trademarks; he tried to express each idea to the fullest in his sentences. Oftentimes, the sheer difficulty encountered when reading his literature has turned many a reader away. Somehow, despite this, William Faulkner has been recognized as one of the greatest American writers of the Twentieth Century. He won the Pulitzer Prize for two of his novels, A Fable (1924), and The Reivers (1962), and he also received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1949. So why is his writing considered to be so good if so many people can't stand to read it? The answer lies in the thought behind and the background of his literature. Faulkner's writing strikes a chord in readers because of his attention to detail; his novels are not merely stories, but instead they are volumes of art.
Faulkner's deeply thought-out and well-described setting and characters allow readers to escape into the world of the Snopes family. Faulkner incorporated much of himself and even more of his surroundings into his novels. His home, Lafayette County, Mississippi, was the basis for his "fictional" setting of Yoknapatawpha County - the setting of the Snopes trilogy and several other novels.
Frenchman's Bend was the setting of much of The Hamlet. Lying along a bend in the river where an apparently successful plantation had once been, Frenchman's Bend became a small town in the post civil-war era. Faulkner's description of the area immediately ...
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...bursting point, embodies his goal to capture all aspects of experience, not to let anything escape." Faulkner certainly reached his goal; no other author has expressed his ideas more thoroughly than William Faulkner. Every sentence is a complete thought that carries the reader on an intellectual journey because the sentences take you through Faulkner's own mind - an achievement unequaled in literature.
Works Cited and Consulted
Kinney, A. Critical essays on William Faulkner: The Compson family. Boston: G.K. Hall. 1978.
Minter, D. William Faulkner: His life and work. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 1980.
Volpe, E. A reader's guide to William Faulkner. New York: Nonday. 1964.
Faulkner, William. The Hamlet. New York: Random House, 1956.
-------- The Mansion. New York: Vintage, 1965.
-------- The Town. New York: Random House, 1974.
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