January 8, 2016 § 1 Comment
“The woods were silent until the first squeak of cricket, followed by young frogs in the creek below and the rising drone of cicadas. He inhaled the heavy scent of summer earth, a loamy musk that settled over him like a caul. He was home.” — Chris Offutt in The Good Brother
“I fancied I could smell the Mississippi, which for me is southern America in a liquid form, signifying fried catfish, roasting ears dipped in butter, and watermelon in the cool of the evening, washed down with corn liquor and accompanied by the blues.” — Alan Lomax in The Land Where the Blues Began
“They have thundered past now and crashed silently on into the dusk; night has fully come. Yet he still sits at the study window, the room still dark behind him. The street lamp at the corner flickers and glares, so that the bitten shadows of the unwinded maples seem to toss faintly upon the August darkness. From a distance, quite faintly, he can hear the sonorous waves of massed voices from the church: a sound at once austere and rich, abject and proud, swelling and falling in the quiet summer darkness like a harmonic tide.” — William Faulkner in Light in August
August 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
“History fades into fable, fact becomes clouded with doubt and controversy, the inscription molders from the tablet, the statue falls from the pedestal. Columns, arches, pyramids — what are they but heaps of sand, and their epitaphs but characters written in the dust?” — Washington Irving
“The past is no further away than the last breath you took.” — Robin Hobb
“The past is never dead. It isn’t even past.” — William Faulkner
January 1, 2011 § 1 Comment
In December 1924, a postal inspector from Corinth, Miss., leveled a series of charges against the postmaster at the University of Mississippi. “You mistreat mail of all classes,” he wrote, “including registered mail; … you have thrown mail with return postage guaranteed and all other classes into the garbage can by the side entrance,” and “some patrons have gone to this garbage can to get their magazines.”
The slothful postmaster was William Faulkner. He had accepted the position in 1921 while trying to establish himself as a writer, but he spent most of his time in the back of the office, as far as possible from the service windows, in what he called the “reading room.” When he wasn’t reading or writing there he was playing bridge with friends; he would rise grumpily only when a patron rapped on the glass with a coin.
It was a brief career. Shortly after the inspector’s complaint, Faulkner wrote to the postmaster general: “As long as I live under the capitalistic system, I expect to have my life influenced by the demands of moneyed people. But I will be damned if I propose to be at the beck and call of every itinerant scoundrel who has two cents to invest in a postage stamp. This, sir, is my resignation.”
Thanks to Futility Closet.