William Faulkner

William Faulkner

Posted on January 14, 2015

William Faulkner was one of the most lauded writers of the 20th century. Most of his works were set in Yoknapatawpha County, a fictional town based on Lafayette County, Mississippi where he was from. He received two Pulitzer Prizes and one Nobel Prize in LIterature.

Sept. 25, 1897
Born as William Cuthbert Faulkner to Maud Butler and Murry Faulkner in New Albany, Mississippi.

Sept. 22, 1902
Family moves to Oxford, Mississippi.

Attends Grade 1 at Oxford Grade School.

Too smart for Grade 2 so he skips to Grade 3. It is here he is asked what he wants to be and he says he wants to be a great writer like his granddad, William Clark Falkner.

Witnesses the lynching of a black man, Nelse Patton, who was shot dead, then castrated, beheaded, and finally hung naked by the feet from a tree.

Hangs out with his girlfriend Estelle Oldham at Chilton’s, a drugstore and ice-cream parlor.

Summer 1914
Begins to read Ezra Pound, Yeats, and T.S. Eliot.

Drops out of highschool and becomes a bank bookkeeper.

April 18, 1918
His boyhood girlfriend, Estelle Oldham, marries Cornell Franklin.

July 9, 1918
After being turned down by the U.S. Army Air Corps to be a pilot because he’s just too short, he then pretends to be an Englishman and is accepted by the Canadian Royal Air Force as a cadet.

Dec. 1918
Canadian Royal Air Force discharges him and even though he never sees actual air combat, he has numerous stories to tell.

His poem L’Apres-Midi d’un Faune is published in The New Republic.

Sept. 1919
Attends the University of Mississippi and during this time publishes poems in the Oxford Eagle and The Mississippian.

Becomes a postmaster at the Ole Miss, the postoffice for University of Mississippi.

Becomes a scoutmaster for the Oxford Boy Scouts.

Fired by the Oxford Boy Scouts for his overindulgence with alcohol. He loses his three-year job as postmaster after a postal inspector acuses him of horrible conduct,—ignoring a potential customer, delaying mail from going on the train, and even purposely losing mail. Other charges were playing bridge and Mah Jong with pals. He didn’t deny these charges and resigns.

After exploring Switzerland and Italy, he falls in love with Paris and settles there, where his passion for writing is born.

Feb. 25, 1926
Publishes first novel Soldier’s Pay.

June 20, 1929
Marries Estelle Oldham (who divorced Cornell Franklin earlier in the year) in College Hill, Mississippi. During their honeymoon in Pascagoula she attempts to drown herself, unable, at the time, to handle the new lifestyle.

Oct. 6, 1930
Publishes As I lay Dying.

Late 1930
Purchases house and lots of land, naming it Rowan Oak.

Jan. 11, 1931
Daughter Alabama is born.

Jan. 20, 1931
Daughter Alabama dies.

Aug. 7, 1932
His dad Murry Falkner dies.

Aug. 6, 1932
Publishes Light in August.

Feb.2, 1933
Begins taking flying lessons.

June 24, 1933
Daughter Jill is born.

March 25, 1935
Publishes Pylan.

Nov. 10, 1935
His youngest brother Dean dies after a plane he had bought for him crashes.

Dec. 10, 1935
Begins his five-week assignment at Twentieth Century-Fox. It is here he meets Meta Dougherty Carpenter and they begin a fifteen-year love affair.

Oct. 26 1936
Publishes Absalom, Absalom!.

Mid Oct. 1937
During a three week trip in New York he goes on a drinking spree that leads to a serious back burn.

Feb. 15, 1938
Publishes The Unvanquished.

Jan. 19, 1939
Publishes The Wild Palms.

April 1, 1940
Publishes The Hamlet.

May 11, 1942
Publishes Go Down, Moses.

The Portable Faulker is published leading to his book sales increasing.

Sept. 27, 1948
Publishes Intruders in the Dust.

Nov. 27, 1949
Publishes Knight’s Gambit.

Aug. 2, 1950
Publishes Collected Stories.

Nov. 8, 1950
Finds out he has won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Dec. 8, 1950
He and his daughter Jill go to Stockholm, Sweden to receive his Nobel Prize.

Sept. 27, 1951
Publishes Requiem for a Nun.

Oct. 26, 1951
In New Orleans he is given the French Legion of Honor.

Aug. 2, 1954
Publishes A Fable.

May 1955
A Fable wins him the Pulizer Prize.

Oct. 14, 1955
Publishes Big Woods.

April 15, 1956
Grandson Paul D. Summers III is born.

Mid 1956
Is challenged by African-American scholar W.E.B. Dubois to a debate on segregation. Faulkner declines.

May 1, 1957
Publishes The Town.

Dec. 2, 1958
Grandson William Cuthbert Falkner Summers is born.

Requiem for a Nun debuts on Broadway.

March 14, 1959
In Charlottesville, falls from a horse and fractures his right collarbone.

Nov. 13, 1959
Publishes The Mansion.

Oct. 16, 1960
At age 88, his mother Maud Butler Falkner dies.

May 30, 1961
Grandson A. Burks Summers is born.

Jan. 3, 1962
Charolottesville revisited, he yet again falls from a horse and gets injured.

June 4, 1961
Publishes his final novel, The Reivers.

June 17, 1961
Falls from a horse again.

July 5, 1961
Admitted to Wright’s Sanatorium in Byhalia, Mississippi.

July 6, 1962
Dies of a heart attack at 1:30 a.m.

July 7, 1962
Buried in St. Peter’s Cemetery in Oxford.

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