Novelist William Faulkner was born in New Albany, Mississippi on September 25, 1897. He spent much of his youth in Oxford where his father was employed as the business manager for the University of Mississippi. Creator of the legendary Yoknapatawpha County and its population of decayed Southern white gentry, merchants, farmers, poor whites, and persecuted blacks, Faulkner told about the South, and of how Southerners continue to carry the burden of its history.
William Faulkner left high school before graduating and attended university only briefly, dropping out in the first semester of his sophomore year. Despondent over a love affair and inspired by aspirations for military glory, he joined the Canadian Royal Air Force but never saw active service. Upon returning to Oxford, he was appointed postmaster of the University of Mississippi, a job he proved unable to maintain.
Faulkner lived for a short time in New Orleans, where he received encouragement from writer Sherwood Anderson. He also traveled to France and Italy where he made contacts among the "Lost Generation" of expatriate American artists who had settled in Europe after the First World War. Aside from these ventures among the literati and stints as a Hollywood screenwriter, however, Faulkner spent the remainder of his life in Mississippi and Virginia, writing brilliantly and prolifically in isolation from his peers.
After early attempts to publish failed, Faulkner assumed his work would not receive public recognition but determined to continue writing for his own fulfillment. In fact, he achieved notice rather early in his career; his third novel, The Sound and the Fury was received with interest in October 1929. He continued to publish novels and poems for the next three decades. Faulkner was awarded two Pulitzer Prizes, in 1955 for A Fable and in 1963 for The Reivers, and the 1949 Nobel Prize for Literature "for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel." During his brief acceptance speech, Faulkner spoke of the human condition and the writer's duty in the nuclear era:
I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things.
Happy Birthday to the woman who can spin circles around just about any other interviewer on television, Barbara Walters, born this day in 1931.
Originally, Walters was mere window dressing for the Today show on NBC. She had little to do with the program except for reporting women’s features. Eventually she was able to show her prowess in incisive interviews and in-depth features before moving to ABC as a news anchor on ABC News Tonight with Harry Reasoner.
It was this move in 1976 that garnered Ms. Walters an annual salary of $1,000,000 -- an unprecedented sum for a woman broadcaster at that time. Reasoner and Walters didn’t quite click and Reasoner quit. Walters then put her own brand of interviewing style to work in Barbara Walters Specials, which garnered a birthday present for her on this night in 1983. The show received the Outstanding Informational Series Emmy.
Last edited by bumblebee; 09-25-2006 at 09:15 AM.