Here's George on the Chipotle bag:

"Hope that, in future, all is well, everyone eats free, no one must work, all just sit around feeling love for one another."

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A different Faulkner recording & Faulkner's mistress: My father, William Schallert, had a small role in the film "In the Heat of the Night". During filming, the script supervisor approached him and asked about his accent since she knew he was from Los Angeles.

He told her that he'd studied Faulkner's Nobel Prize speech (I still have the record album). She looked nonplussed, said, "Oh," then turned and walked away.

My father approached the director, Norman Jewison, and asked if he'd said something wrong.

"That was Meta Carpenter-Wilde," he said. "She was Faulkner's mistress for 18 years."

I told my father he should take it as a compliment that she asked!

Here's a great quote from the speech: "Our tragedy today is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it. There are no longer problems of the spirit. There is only the question: When will I be blown up? Because of this, the young man or woman writing today has forgotten the problems of the human heart in conflict with itself which alone can make good writing because only that is worth writing about, worth the agony and the sweat."

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This was so lovely and strange. I am personally grateful for your time speaking to the public. We met in Cleveland and talked about Barry Hannah over Thai Food with other MFA candidates. With that conversation and this odd little bit of my home state, you gave another bit of my writing self back to me. How weird and wonderful is that? I am so grateful. And still writing.

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I show this video every year to my seniors as we prep ourselves to read Unvanquished or Absalom, Absalom. I have tried to get them to film a re-enactment of their own, that sort of awkward, “stand here” kind of interview so that we can all take ourselves less seriously, but no one as of yet has taken me up on the offer. I’ll talk them into it one day. “By golly.”

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"So, you're the one the trouble begins with."

"Who did you want it to begin with?"

Proposal for Story Club motto

(Suddenly missing the quirky humor of my dairy-farming grandfather and his contemporaries.)

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I was on a Faukner advice hunt the other day, these two caught my interest

On when to stop work for the day:

“The only rule I have is to quit while it’s still hot. Never write yourself out. Always quit when it’s going good. Then it’s easier to take it up again. If you exhaust yourself, then you’ll get into a dead spell, and you have trouble with it. It’s—what’s the saying—leave them while you’re looking good.

On writing outside one’s experience:

“There should be no limits to what the writer tries to write about. He has got to tell it in terms that he does know. That is, he can write about what is beyond his experience, but the only terms he does know are within his experience, his observation. But there should be no limits to what he attempts. The higher the aim, the better. If [he wants] to be a failure, let him be a fine bust, not just a petty little one.” (Faulkner talking to 1957 University of Virginia writing students)

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This is great. I always got the sense that Faulkner had a distinctly goofy side, e.g:

- Affecting a limp after he returned from service in the RAF in WW I, although he hadn’t been wounded.

- He was known by some in Oxford as “Count No Count” for his pretensions about being a gentleman farmer

- His outrageous/hyperbolic statement in the Paris Review that “Ode on a Grecian Urn is worth any number of old ladies.”

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A bit about the producer Robert Saudek:

Time Magazine Monday, Mar. 04, 1957

Television: On with the Show

For five years the Ford Foundation has stood like a rock of gold behind TV's Omnibus. "We were operating," says Omnibus' Executive Producer Robert Saudek, "with what Justice Holmes called 'the fighting significance of guarantees.' " What Saudek meant was that Omnibus, with Ford's "venture capital" behind it, could fight the mediocrity of TV and "raise the level of American taste." Saudek and Omnibus made such a good start at both objectives that last week the foundation decided to abandon its "experiment" and sent Omnibus into the cold world of commercial TV —with its blessings.

The show's full property rights fell to balding, bushy-browed Bob Saudek, 45, who promptly formed a new packaging firm—Robert Saudek Associates, Inc.—to keep Omnibus on the TV air. Best "guarantee" now, says Saudek, is "the funded know-how of my creative staff," which will include such Omnibus regulars as Cultural Headwaiter Alistair Cooke, Drama Critic Walter Kerr. But the question remains: Can Omnibus maintain the courage of past conceits, the venturesomeness of past successes, the educational luxury of such occasional failures as its go-minute The Iliad, without special subsidy? The signs are encouraging: both current sponsors (Union Carbide and Carbon Corp., Aluminium Ltd.) have committed themselves to sponsor part of Omnibus for a new season, and Saudek says there are other potential sponsors, and that all three networks want the show. CBS appareritly wants Saudek more than it wants Omnibus; NBC is considering alternating Omnibus with Wide Wide World on Sundays at 4 p.m., and ABC, its present network, wants Omnibus more than Omnibus wants it.

To make ends meet—and to make a profit as well—Saudek hopes to branch out. He talks of a jazz series, a high-toned dramatic series, and a children's program which will "excite youngsters [he has five of his own] into involvement with the world." All he needs, says Saudek, is "the well-conceived idea, the well-written word, the well-cast performer and the well-spent dollar." And he believes that all of them are within reach.


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This was not only odd, but funny, really. it hops around with Faulkner here and there, smoking his pipe, almost the exact opposite of his long, sometimes convoluted lines. i heard Faulkner speak twice when he was at UVA. His voice, to my recollection, was slower and a bit deeper. The soundtrack on this video is really high, a bit chipmunky. I guess because I grew up with it, and was lied to in it for so many years (along with some good stories ), I have a hard time taking seriously anything in that Southern drawl - including my own.

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The beginning of the video felt like a weird fever dream… the strange parade and the view of the town. And this: “ I don’t know if you’re good or not, but you got the Nobel prize.” That cracked me up.

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Mar 1·edited Mar 1

Love b&w writer movies almost as much as I love google image searching writers’ houses.

Some highlights from the reel:

Voiceover: “His friends are the friends of his boyhood.” And we get a shot of Faulkner stroking the soft jaw of a horse as another horse enters from right of frame.

The part when Faulkner visits his lawyer friend looks like it could be inspiration for a Pixar movie. From the narrow, balconied portico façade to the thousands of law books. Lawyer friend: “How was Sweden.” Faulkner: “Cool but pleasant."

The pair of cute chickens that must have been coaxed to enter the frame and can be seen through the wagon wheel spokes as Faulkner asks the boy about when he begins school again.

A bird’s eye view shot at a crosswalk where people pass one another and then cut to a wide shot of dapper men in fedoras sitting on public benches set perpendicular to one another. The audio: "…so a writer overlays one life with another until they become a meaning, many meanings.”

His graduation line: “So never be afraid, never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed.”

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"You're the reason I have to wear a necktie in the middle of the week." ! My favorite line.

But I wonder whose idea it was Bill the farmer/writer made the rounds of Oxford wearing a suit and tie A charming and unsophisticated documentary.

I read several of his books but don't remember much except sentences that went on forever. I wonder if that came from the rural run on way of speaking. We read writers like Faulkner in high school, and then they're enshrined in our minds, fondly forgotten almost forever.

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Feb 29·edited Feb 29

That WAS a peculiar video, with the mannered and stilted conversations (I kept expecting a pipe tobacco—or maybe whiskey, this being Faulkner—ad to break in), but it was endearing in some ways too, and fun to hear his voice. My grandmother was born in Meridian MS, and she had a honeyed drawl. Congrats on the Chipotle story George—I had a partial story published years ago on the outside of a coffee can by a Portland, OR coffee company called StoryHouse, with the longer conclusion of the story in the can—with the beans. Savory words.

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Seriously I will stop after this. Couldn't get the whole PDF:

Faulkner on Omnibus :

A Portrait of the Artist as a Cultural Ambassador in the Making

Ted Atkinson (bio)

When the popular television series Omnibus aired late in the afternoon of December 28, 1952, the episode featured a short film with an unlikely leading man: William Faulkner. Appearing on national television marked a dramatic turn for Faulkner in more ways than one. For most of his career, he had shown a chronic aversion to the public-facing duties associated with being a literary celebrity. By the midcentury mark, however, Faulkner was becoming somewhat more willing to step into the public spotlight. A key factor precipitating his change of heart was winning the Nobel Prize in Literature for 1949 and garnering the acclaim that comes with the most prestigious literary prize in the world. The post-Nobel Faulkner was much in demand. Among the earliest and most prominent of his suitors were officials from the U.S. State Department, who recruited him to serve as a cultural ambassador. In the mid-1950s, he traveled on junkets to Latin America, Europe, and Japan to promote U.S. concerns through public readings, lectures, and press availabilities. Although Faulkner’s role was ostensibly diplomatic, he performed at times as a cold warrior on the cultural front. In that capacity, he fiercely defended individual liberty and self-reliance as deterrents to the oppressive forces of subjugation and fear under totalitarian regimes. This rhetorical stance became part of the stock remarks that Faulkner delivered while carrying out his official duties during a time of great urgency for the cause of democracy.

The narrative of Faulkner’s dramatic change in fortunes—rising from relative obscurity in the late 1930s to esteemed Nobel Laureate by the early 1950s—is now a familiar account in Faulkner studies.1 Only in recent decades [End Page 7] has the story of Faulkner’s concomitant development into a Cold War-era writer-diplomat gained traction. Largely neglected by scholars, the Omnibus profile of Faulkner—a short film in which he plays himself—is an unusual but instructive document of this post-Nobel transformation in progress.2 As such, it preserves in an encapsulated form a juncture at which Faulkner was becoming an actor in a geopolitical theater of cultural Cold War routinely staged in mass media.3 The production of Faulkner’s big TV moment employed the ascendant medium as an instrument for rendering the local and global domains the author now inhabited as a writer of international renown.4 The magnitude of the appearance for Faulkner is apparent when taking into account that Omnibus regularly drew a viewership in the range of seventeen million.5 By this measure, it was by far the largest audience that Faulkner was ever able to reach at once. In presenting Faulkner to the viewer, the production renders what he famously dubbed his “postage stamp of native soil” in Mississippi fertile ground for the cultivation of personal convictions and literary achievements presented as testaments to the generative possibilities afforded by American democracy.6 Faulkner on Omnibus took shape from a combination of televisual image-making and trademark self-fashioning that helped to refine the persona that the writer-diplomat would carry with him to the far-flung places and people he sought to address in the interest of advancing U.S. interests amid a heated ideological conflict on a global scale.

Omnibus Origin Story

The Faulkner profile aired on Omnibus in the eighth episode of the show’s inaugural season. A blend of cultural affairs and informational programming comprised the standard Omnibus format. The programming content was instrumental in establishing the television news magazine as a fixture on the broadcast landscape for years to come. In fact, it was so influential that it became a model for the development of PBS at the end of the 1960s. The shared DNA between the two enterprises was evident when in 1971 PBS launched Masterpiece Theater featuring as the host Alistair Cooke, the erudite and affable former host of Omnibus, which had aired its final season a decade earlier. Over the course of the show’s run, Omnibus resided at each of the three major networks and occupied afternoon and...


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I’m among friends so I’ll confess: I’ve never read Faulkner. Where should I start (and why)?

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Wow, what a find. Thanks George. Two things that stand out: How Faulkner talks around his friends and the locals vs. how he speaks at a podium. Not unusual, but noticeable, especially in the depth of his Mississippi accent. And the second is how we really never see white and black residents ever mingling, or that Faulkner's black friends are all working people, mostly in the fields. A stark segregation. Faulkner the only one crossing the invisible border diving one group from the other.....

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