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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Faulkner Speaks

The University of Virginia has put online its collection of tape recordings made during William Faulkner's two years as Writer-in-Residence there back in 1957-1958.  A very short clip can be heard here, but the collection is worth browsing through, not merely for the wonderful sound of Faulkner's old-time Southern accent - our modern accents down here, though still distinctive, are tainted by half a century of exposure to the daily barrage of television - but the collection also includes many fascinating articles by and about Faulkner and the South of those days, as well as photographs like the ones above and below.

What a marvel that we live in an age when such a collection is available at the touch of a few buttons, in the comfort of one's home; all this was just science-fiction fantasy a few short years ago, and now we take it all for granted.  Mind-boggling when I stop to think about it, what a vast distance technology has progressed in just my lifetime - though human nature has not changed one iota, of course.  It never does.

Looking over this collection brings up many thoughts about matters public and private, current and historic, that I don't really want to take the time to blog about right now, so I'll leave you all to make your own reflections if you're interested in this sort of thing. 

Faulkner at a hunt club in Virginia in 1960; the two men are holding a flask of whiskey.


dave said...

Fascinating. You're right about accents being tainted by television. They remain regional, but far less rich and have lost their historical roots.

My word verification is PORNO lol

Russ Manley said...

LOL dave . . . .

Staircase Witch said...

Thank you. Oddly, as I was reading the article, I just heard the announcement on the NPR hourly news bit that UVA was making its Faulkner recording archive available (it's Saturday morning).

Like the writer, I devoured most of Faulkner's work when I was in my teens and early twenties. I started revisiting it a few years ago. "The Bear" is still the piece that haunts me the most. It doesn't surprise me that he loved the hunt.

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