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Faulkner on Tape

Posted by Josh Rothman  July 27, 2011 12:10 AM

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The Observer's Very Short List blog points out a great find: over 28 hours of tape from William Faulkner's time as the Writer-in-Residence at the University of Virginia during 1957 and 1958 are now available online. You can hear him read from his novels and stories, as well as answer questions from students, faculty, and the public. It was all recorded on reel-to-reel tape.


Faulkner at Virginia, ©2010 Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia; Author Stephen Railton.

U.V.A. English professor Stephen Railton has done an extraordinary job in making the audio available. The university's Faulkner at Virginia website provides lots of helpful background information, and lets you browse the recordings by topic. They've all been divided up into snippets and transcribed. You can hear Faulkner read from The Sound and the Fury, but you can also hear him answer specific questions about the novel from interested readers -- for example, "Why doesn't Caddy have her own section?" (Faulkner's answer, though interesting, isn't going to help any English majors answer that exam question.)

You'll find that clip and more on the website's selected clips webpage, which is a great place to start. If you've never heard Faulkner's voice before, you owe it to yourself to listen to a few minutes from one of his readings.

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