Faulkner at 100: Retrospect and Prospect ed. by Donald M. Kartiganer and Ann J. Abadie (review)

Faulkner at 100: Retrospect and Prospect ed. by Donald M. Kartiganer and Ann J. Abadie (University Press of Mississippi, 2000)

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Faulkner at 100: Retrospect and Prospect ed. by Donald M. Kartiganer and Ann J. Abadie (review)

by Stephen M. Ross
Southern Cultures, Vol. 8, No. 3: Fall 2002

University Press of Mississippi, 2000

One of dozens of celebrations of Faulkner’s one-hundredth birthday all over the world, Faulkner at 100 has all the right stuff—smart people saying smart things about this great southern writer. Joseph Blotner, Faulkner’s first biographer and maybe the only person with credentials that permit him to wax sentimental, looks sentimentally out over the years of Faulkner scholarship and admires the parade that has passed before him. Noel Polk, the staunch editor of Faulkner’s texts, reminds us commonsensically that whoever we think Faulkner was he remains “the man who wrote the books.” He nicely reminds us too that much of what we say about Faulkner we are really saying about ourselves. Michael Millgate offers a fine reassessment of the “defining moment” in Faulkner’s career when Malcolm Cowley put together The Portable Faulkner and, as Millgate persuasively argues, burdened Faulkner more than necessary with the yoke of regionalism.