On this day in 1897, William Cuthbert Falkner, known as William Faulkner, was born in New Albany, Mississippi, to Murry Cuthbert Falkner, a railroad worker, and Maud Butler, a housewife. New Albany is a photogenic little town, even today, and is distinctive for the railroad tracks that run right through the middle of the downtown’s main street.
In his last years, Faulkner taught at the University of Virginia, content to be among the snobs of the Old Dominion:
“A snob is someone who is so complete in himself and so satisfied with what he has that he needs nothing from anybody,” Faulkner explained. “That when a stranger comes up, he can accept that stranger on the stranger’s terms, provided only the stranger observe a few amenities of civilization. That’s what Virginians do. They never push at me. They want nothing of me. They will offer me their hospitality and they will accept me. All I have to do is just behave reasonably.”
You can find a great photo of Faulkner at UVa after the jump, and for audio recordings of a number of his classroom and public appearances, go here.
This post was originally published on September 25, 2012.