Greetings! Welcome back — belly up to the bar and have a seat. Is that a book you’ve got tucked in that bag? Let me see it — I’m an old lover of books. Or a a lover of old books. I guess both would be right.
Why my stars and garters, it’s “The Portable William Faulkner”! You know, he’s my absolutely most favorite writer. Amazing! I wouldn’t have taken you for a fellow Faulkner fan. Mind, I wasn’t always crazy about his work. I only discovered Faulkner in college, and then it was by accident.
Ah, college — the last days of freedom. Remember how “important” everything was back then? You know, I met the love of my life in college. Yes, it’s true. I experienced that deep and lasting emotion that a man only feels once in his life. As I recall, I did that about every other week.
In fact, that was how I stumbled into Faulkner! You see, I went on the GI Bill after I got back from overseas, and I was older than most of the other students. So I my heart wasn’t only available to those giggling 19-year-old cheerleaders you see wandering around the campus. I also fell hard for several of the teachers — one of whom taught a summer course on William Faulkner. I don’t even remember her name, but I’ve never forgotten Faulkner.
Mostly it was the way he put words together. They spoke to me in a language that I understood. Like when, in “The Town” he said, “Poets are almost always wrong about facts. That’s because they are not really interested in facts: only in truth.” That really pulled it all together for me. Also, William Faulkner spent a lot of his life writing about the Snopes family, and those were people with whom I grew up. No one ever described my father better than Faulkner did in “Barn Burning”.
So, yeah, I knew those people. Knew them very well. I’m just a little surprised to discover that you enjoy Faulkner too. What’s that? You picked it up for your daughter, who’s taking a Faulkner course in college? Is her teacher a youngish, poetic sort of fellow? You’re going right home and find out? Please tell her to drop in anytime she wants to talk about — oh, well, goodbye then…