Today is William Faulkner’s 110th birthday. From The New York Times:
In April of 1962, less than three months before his death on July 6, William Faulkner made a trip many thought he wouldn’t. As a favor to a relative, the reclusive and taciturn writer spent two days visiting at West Point.
The Times covered Faulkner’s visit in a dispatch by George Barrett, which ran under this 4-column headline: “Faulkner Inspects West Point, Gives a Reading and Stays for a Chat: Faulkner Finds Cadets Knowing: Corps Studied Works for Nobel Laureate’s Visit.”
He showed surprise when almost all the cadets broke into extended applause for his reply to a question concerning the “spirit of nationalism” in which he said that “if the spirit of nationalism gets into literature it stops being literature.”