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William Faulkner

William Faulkner is my favorite American author; he has an elegant way with the English language. His prose reads like poetry. His stories are engrossing. While I was at The University (UVa), he was Writer-in-Residence and he lectured my English class for one full period (actually, it was a question-and-answer session). A small man with a beautiful, languid, yet precise aristocratic Mississippi accent. I remember with relish his answer to a particularly assiduous student who had posed one of those questions that takes three minutes to ask and is more an essay than a question. I believe the "question" had to do with naming one of the characters "Joe Christmas" in Light in August. Mr. Faulkner patiently withstood the barrage and, after a short pause, probably to be sure it was over, but maybe for effect, he answered, "Young man, I am sorry, but I cannot answer your question because I am not a literary person."

I saw him often in his tweeds and Tyrolean green felt hat, walking the grounds, smoking a pipe. He joined the local hunt club (fox hunt) and was writing a book about it when he died, so I heard. It was rumored that his book would expose scandals of the nabobs of Albemarle County, who were very relieved at its remaining unfinished. An excellent narrative of his time at UVa, written by one of his department colleagues, can be read in The Virginia Quarterly Review. He doesn't mention the unfinished book, so maybe it never existed. Also, if you read the article, please believe me when I say that I did not steal the "tweeds and Tyrolean green felt hat" from it. I wrote that before reading the article.

A Faulkner book I especially liked was Sanctuary. One of the characters is a student at The University back in the days when we all wore coats and ties. He gets into a lot of trouble. I could really identify with that character.

If you are looking for informal, non-professional, irreverent and entertaining investment advice, check out the "Drooling Oatmeal Investment Club". Poodah (of this site) contributes occasional pieces there.

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