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Faulkner William 1897-1962 American novelist known for his epic portrayal in some 20 novels of the tragic conflict between the old and the new South Faulkners complex plots and narrative style alienated many readers of his early works but he was recognized later as one of the greatest American writers Born in New Albany Mississippi Faulkner was raised in nearby Oxford as the oldest of four sons of an old-line southern family In 1915 he dropped out of high school which he detested to work in his grandfathers bank In World War I 1914-1918 he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force but never saw battle action Back home in Oxford he was admitted to the University of Mississippi as a veteran but he soon quit school to write supporting himself with odd jobs Faulkners first book The Marble Faun a collection of pastoral poems was privately printed in 1924 The following year he moved to New Orleans worked as a journalist and met the American short-story writer Sherwood Anderson who helped him find a publisher for his first novel Soldiers Pay 1926 and also convinced him to write about the people and places he knew best After a brief tour of Europe Faulkner returned home and began his series of baroque brooding novels set in the mythical Yoknapatawpha County based on Lafayette County Mississippi peopling it with his own ancestors Native Americans blacks shadowy backwoods hermits and loutish poor whites In the first of these novels Sartoris 1929 he patterned the character Colonel Sartoris after his own great-grandfather William Cuthbert Falkner a soldier politician railroad builder and author Faulkner restored the u that had been removed from the family name The year 1929 was crucial to Faulkner That year Sartoris was followed by The Sound and the Fury an account of the tragic downfall of the Compson family The novel uses four different narrative voices to piece together the story and thus challenges the reader
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