Walt's Look Around: William Faulkner, Mississippi's Nobel Laurit - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: William Faulkner, Mississippi's Nobel Laurite

Posted: Updated:
OXFORD, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Probably everybody's bookshelf is loaded with Mississippi writers, even if they don't know it. From the most popular best sellers of today, to reflective poets to the geniuses of literature, they hale from here. But the giant has to be Faulkner. His statue gazes out over the square of Oxford, the town he presents as 'Jefferson' in his writings. His home, Rowan Oak is in Oxford, owned by Ole Miss and open for tours. And his influence hangs like Southern summer heat over modern American literature. So much so that in addition to his Pulitzer Prizes, he is Mississippi's only Nobel Laurite. I am going to turn to file footage from another great Mississippi writer who also left us all too soon, Willie Morris, for his assessment of Mister Faulkner.

Willie Morris: Gosh, how do you begin with Mr. Bill? I think Faulkner is our American Shakespeare. He is just a towering presence. He once said, "To understand the world, you have to understand a place like Mississippi. He had the imminent good sense to return home, to write about, in his own words his, "Own little postage stamp of native soil." And he knew it in his deepest, deepest heart. He just totally immersed himself in Mississippi. He knew it better than anyone ever has. And in the process, became America's greatest writer.

Walt: Good writers are able to examine their cog in the machinery of mankind and explain what makes them, or their fictitious subjects, tick. Faulkner somehow was able to step back and examine, not the individual cogs, but the whole machine, and set in motion cogs and gears that ground out life before your eyes on the page as if it were a mirror. It is a talent, a greatness and a Mississippian who left behind his written legacy and died 50 years ago this month. William Faulkner.

Copyright 2012 WLBT. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow