Faulkner Audio Clips
Faulkner in Cabell Hall
While William Faulkner was UVA's Writer-in-Residence during the Spring terms, 1957 and 1958, he was put in front of over thirty-five different audiences, ranging from English department classes at both the undergraduate and graduate level to people from Charlottesville and the surrounding area. On most of these occasions the audiences were invited to ask him any questions they liked. The kind of questions they asked tell us a lot about the times (the study of literature during the 1950s, for example, was particularly focused on symbols and myths, and it was during this period that the patterns of Jim Crow segregation that had defined the status quo in the South for over half a century were first coming under sustained attack, from black demonstrators, court decisions and the deployment of federal troops). The answers Faulkner gave also tell us a lot, even when he tries (as he often does) to avoid giving a specific answer to questions like "what does the symbol of the shadow in Quentin's section of The Sound and the Fury stand for?"
Available from this page is a sampling of those questions and answers, digitized from the magnetic tapes originally made on reel-to-reel recorders. As you'll hear, there was only one microphone in use, and it was usually attached to Faulkner's lapel, so his answers are much more audible than the questions. For that reason I've transcribed the questions. All of this material has been made available by the University Library, especially the Department of Preservation, the Digital Media Lab and the Small Special Collections Library.
QUESTIONS ABOUT SARTORIS (FLAGS IN THE DUST)
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SOUND AND THE FURY
QUESTIONS ABOUT AS I LAY DYING
QUESTIONS ABOUT SANCTUARY
QUESTIONS ABOUT LIGHT IN AUGUST
QUESTIONS ABOUT ABSALOM, ABSALOM!
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE UNVANQUISHED
QUESTIONS ABOUT GO DOWN, MOSES
QUESTIONS ABOUT INTRUDER IN THE DUST
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SOUTH AND RACE
QUESTIONS ABOUT WRITING, HIS AND OTHERS'
QUESTIONS ABOUT UVA, VA AND EDUCATION