Monday, July 16, 2012

Faulkner Facts

It takes time to get around to learning everything there is to learn about Faulkner, so bear with me. There's a lot of other things I have to get to. Housework, parenting, working, worrying, complaining etc. So, yea I'm a little embarrassed that I didn't already know the things I learned about him today.

1. Faulkner thought he created his own characters. Here's what I think. He was so oblivious to the world around him that he maybe didn't realize he was getting his ideas from it. People who knew him said that he seemed to ignore everyone around him, finding them all ordinary. I just think he was in denial. He claims he could create better characters than God. Yet everyone in the town of Oxford was enraged at him. So, who knows what the truth is. Whatever the truth is, even if those people were angry, even if they were hurt, he had a higher calling than their feelings.

2. Yoknapatawpha county came from a real word or word combination. Of course it did. No one comes up with that. Turns out it comes from two Chickasaw words meaning split land. "Earlier maps of the area called it "Yokney Patafa."

That's all for today. Back to the chores.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Chaplin and Faulkner

I am currently reading Chaplin A Life by Stephen Weissman, M.D. It is fascinating. So why, might you ask, would I, in the middle of reading say to myself, "I just know the name Faulkner is going to come up in the next paragraph or two. I sense a reference to Faulkner coming."

It is because of how alike they were as artists, believe it or not.

Charlie Chaplin grew up in such a unique, heartbreaking, unforgettable way that it makes perfect sense why his childhood haunts him. The way that it haunts him makes him yearn for the surroundings of his youth. The pawn shop where his mother pawned his brother's work uniform every week so they would have food, and bought back every Friday so her son could work to help support the family. The tiny room they rented above a barber shop. The house where he lived when they were at the height of their wealth, and the unit they rented at the depths of their poverty and despair.

It turns out that Chaplin spent his artistic life recreating his youth. He needed sets built to remind him of his childhood to prompt his creativity.

Of course, it was around this passage in the book that I began to expect the reference to Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha county. After the mention of several others in that same genre, he was mentioned as expected.

It said they wanted to recreate a particular moment, or several particular moments--Chaplin and Faulkner.

Yep. I know.