DATE: 24 April 1958
OCCASION: Undergraduate Writing Class
This clip was created by splicing the end of T-142a and the beginning of T-142b together.
Play the full recording:
Joseph Blotner: Sir, this sounds an awful lot like a novel called The Sound and the Fury [with] Quentin Compson wanting to love people and the same sort of relationship with his sister.
William Faulkner: I don't quite agree with you. I don't believe that—that Quentin and Holden were very much alike except in being a little too sensitive and coming from a somewhat similar background of—of people that were—were over-intelligent but incapable of—of any strength of—of mutual affection and tenderness, which, as I got it, was—was Holden's home.
A. K. Davis: Mr. Faulkner, Holden wasn't grown up, and Quentin was grown up. He was holding onto something. [...] He was a case of arrested development, and Holden was a case of [...]. Isn't that true?
William Faulkner: Yes, sir, there was that difference.
A. K. Davis: I don't know whether I read Quentin right or not, but he was holding onto an ideal, wasn't he, sir?
William Faulkner: Yes, sir.
A. K. Davis: That—that simply could not be lived up to in his [times].
William Faulkner: Yes, that's right. That couldn't have been lived up to in any time maybe. But Holden Caulfield was simply looking for something which should be everybody's right, not only a privilege, but everybody's right, to find mankind and—and love mankind and be accepted into mankind, and he couldn't, because mankind, as I tried to say in my paper, in Holden's terms, wasn't there anymore.
[end of recording]