On 6 May 1957, a combination of a "Graduate Course in American Fiction" and an "Undergraduate Course in American Literature" asked Faulkner twenty-two questions about As I Lay Dying. Unfortunately, the tape on which this session was originally recorded was lost during the Fifties. If you want to read those questions and Faulkner's replies, they are available in the book Faulkner in the University, edited by UVA faculty members Frederick L. Gwynn and Joseph L. Blotner (Charlottesville: The University of Virginia Press, 1959): pages 109-22. The first of the questions below was asked during a session with "Visitors from Virginia Colleges"; the next three in two different sessions with the "University and Community Public."
Q: Mr. Faulkner, the book of yours which troubles me most is — puzzles me most, doesn't trouble me at all — is As I Lay Dying. Somebody once suggested to me that the — I think there's thirteen characters in it — constitute really the separate parts of just one man. Is this so?
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Q: [Someone asked Faulkner about the "broken leg" Quentin thinks about in The Sound and the Fury, but another questioner confuses that with an incident in the Bundrens' story:] Thatís As I Lay Dying, isnít it? Cashís broken leg?
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Q: [The question on this tape is completely inaudible, and the tape itself has a loud background hiss, but I wanted to give you a chance to listen to this answer. He's obviously been asked about As I Lay Dying. He responds with the phrase he invariably used for the novel, calling it "a tour de force", and repeating much the same idea as in the answer above, from a different public session. But this time he calls the Bundrens' journey "noble" as well as "foolish," and goes on to connect their story up to the ideas, made famous in the Nobel Prize speech he gave in 1950, that man is "immortal" and will "endure." He gave the Nobel speech twenty years after he wrote the novel, and the UVA answer seven years after that. Whether the novel itself "says" this about the human spirit is up to you to decide. (If you want to read the Nobel Speech, you can find the text of it online HERE.)]
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Q: Sir, when you wrote either The Sound and the Fury or As I Lay Dying, did you — were you conscious of making the characters, the brothers and sisters and their relationships — somewhat similar? Would you think back — do you recall that — it seems to me that there's a certain type of family relationship in each of the families which — I don't know which of the books you wrote first ——
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