Mrs. Faulkner Tells It Like It Is

So we're working on something that has us very excited and so far it required me digging through my collection of scanned Faulkner interviews. (Yes, I have something that might be called a "collection of scanned Faulkner interviews." In my defense, I never claimed sanity.) There are a lot of awesome things in there (and a bunch of not-so-awesome stuff as well), but I just had to share this passage with you. It's from an interview Faulkner's wife, Estelle, gave in 1931. At the time Faulkner had recently published These 13, a collection of short stories including A Rose for Emily. Here's what Mrs. Faulkner had to say about that:
I don't think Billy writes such good short stories, Mrs. Faulkner said. I don't think he understands them. Novels? Now that is different. I think his best work is As I Lay Dying--that is his best work so far. I believe his greatest novel is yet to come.

Did I understand Sanctuary the first time I read it? Well, that's hardly fair. No, I didn't. When we were married in 1928, he began what he termed my education. He gave me James Joyce's Ulysses to read. I didn't understand it. He told me to read it again. I did and understood what Mr. Joyce was writing about. 

Then I tried to read Sanctuary in manuscript form. I couldn't get the meaning. But the second time, with Ulysses for a background, it wasn't difficult. I've read it a third time but I don't think it is his best at all.
The relationship between William and Estelle was a complicated one, and some of that comes through in this interview as well, but... Reading Ulysses twice to understand it? Faulkner being better suited for novels than for short stories? Sanctuary not being his best book? And this sentence, "with Ulysses for a background, it wasn't difficult," that just kills me and that I might have to add to every review of a difficult book I try to read? I think I love this woman.

ETA: Adding to the humor of this, in a 1932 interview Faulkner is quoted saying "I have never read Ulysses. Until recently I had never seen a copy." Then again, he was being asked if he'd been imitating Joyce's style in The Sound and the Fury and he did have a healthy dislike for telling the truth to probing interviewers.

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