DATE: 26 February 1958

OCCASION: Undergraduate Writing Class

This clip was created by splicing the end of T-141classbegins and the beginning of T-141b together.

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William Faulkner: Yes, sir.

Unidentified participant: Sir, would you say that that's a major flaw in your old southern families that you picture, like the Sartorises and the Compsons, that they keep back from mankind, and they act only for themselves and therefore turn in instead of out?

William Faulkner: If you mean by that—that's true of any family, whether they are southern or not. They cling to an obsolence, whatever that obsolence might be, yes. And people have a tendency to—to remember what was pleasant, and the unpleasant part of that vanishes as memory attenuates, so that all you remember is the happy part of it, and the instinct is to go back to that happy part. You don't always remember [that] if you went back to the happy part, you'd have to go through with the—with the unhappy part again, too. That's partly clinging to the happy past. It's partly a lack of—of something present to occupy. Everybody, in a sense, needs a tub of washing, and the people like the Sartorises and Compsons, they don't have a tub of washing anymore.

[end of recording]