A Southerner's Struggle "I decline to accept the end of man." William Faulkner William Faulkner was born on September 25, 1897, in New Albany, Mississippi. He was the first son for Murray Cuthbert Falkner and Maud Butler Falkner (the "u" was added to Faulkner's name by mistake when his first novel was published and Faulkner retained the misspelling). Although "he was considered to be one of the most successful American writers of the 21st century," (Blotner 10) Faulkner never graduated high school. During WWI he tried to join the U.S. Army Air corps, but was rejected. Instead, Faulkner went to Canada and joined the Canadian branch of the Royal Air Force. After the war, Faulkner published The Marble Faun in 1924, his first book of verse, which was not well received. At the suggestion of a friend, Phil Stone, Faulkner went to Europe in 1925 thinking he might get more fame in another country.
Between 1926 and 1929, he published several more works, none of which were successful, critically or financially.
Faulkner's luck did change with the publication of The Sound and the Fury in 1929, which "proved to be an enormous critical success." (Blotner 18) The same year he married his childhood sweetheart, Mrs. Estelle Oldham Franklin. The marriage produced two daughters, the first of which died shortly after birth. Faulkner had his first financial success in 1931 with the publication of Sanctuary. In 1950, he won the National Book Gold Medal for Collected Stories and the Nobel Prize for Literature, the first awarded to an American novelist since the end of WWII. Faulkner decided to use his acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize to set right the misinterpretation of his own work as pessimistic.
"Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by...