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10 Faulkner Fun Facts

  • When publishing The Sound and The Fury, Faulkner initially wanted to use different color ink to help differentiate between different people and times. There were, unfortunately, no possible techniques to accomplish this at the time
  • Faulkner tried to join the US Army Air Corps, but was denied due to his short stature. Instead, he enlisted in the British Royal Flying Corps during World War I.
  • Before his writing took off, Faulkner had a job as the University of Mississippi postmaster, but was fired for reading on the job.
  • Faulkner was invited to join the Kennedys for a meal in the White House. Though he was in Virginia at the time, he declined the invitation, stating it was too far to go “for a meal”.
  • As I Lay Dying was written in just six to eight weeks, while Faulkner worked the night shift at the University of Mississippi Power House. He used the back of a wheelbarrow as his table.
  • Faulkner’s brother Dean died in a plane crash. Faulkner himself was devastated and felt incredibly responsible, since he had given Dean the plane.
  • There is a mystery surrounding the added “u” in Faulkner’s name. Some say it was to make him seem more British during his time in the Royal Flying Corps, while others say it was a typographical error he never bothered to correct.
  • The mother of a Kentucky high school student demanded As I Lay Dying be banned from the curriculum for abortion, profanity, using God’s name in vain, and promoting secular humanism. Despite having never read the book, the school board unanimously agreed.
  • Faulkner was a known alcoholic, often going on long drinking binges. His bourbon of choice was Four Roses.
  • Faulkner received the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature. He did not receive the award itself, however, until 1950, as the Nobel committee could not decide in time who would receive the prize (other contenders were Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus, and John Steinback, all of whom won Nobel Prizes at a later point).


If you haven’t already, check out our trio of Faulkner stories!

As I Lay Dying:

Absalom, Absalom!:

The Sound And The Fury:

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