- Harold Burson on interviewing Faulkner for the Memphis Commercial Appeal
Editor's note: This article also stands as a sign of the times because the Memphis Commercial Appeal published it before William Faulkner added the "u" to his last name.
University, Miss., Nov. 17.—William Falkner thinks Hollywood is an over-grown country town, hasn't read "Gone With the Wind" and believes his best novel has yet to be written.
The author of "Sanctuary" and other best sellers of recent years, home following a stay of several months in New York and Hollywood, also announced the publication of a new book, "Unvanquished," a collection of short stories, to appear in February.
"My general impression of Hollywood," he said, "is that of a very wealthy, over-grown country town. In fact, it reminds me very much of a town that has sprung up as the result of an oil boom. I knew very few actors, but the ones with whom I did come in contact were normal, hard-working people, leading much saner lives than we are led to believe."
While in Hollywood, Mr. Falkner wrote scripts for several successful pictures, but he said he prefers novels and doesn't plan to return to the movie capital.
"I don't like scenario writing," he explained, "because I don't know enough about it. I feel as though I can't do myself justice in that type of work, and I don't contemplate any more of it in the near future."
His reason for not having read "Gone With the Wind" is that it is "entirely too long for any story." Nor has he read "Anthony Adverse" for the same reason: That no story takes 1000 pages to tell.
Mr. Falkner is at present working on a novel that he expects to complete by next Summer, although he said it may take longer. "I have turned out books in as short a time as six weeks," he explained, "but sometimes it takes as long as a year and a half, time depending on the amount of concentration necessary."
In describing the actual writing of a novel, Mr. Falkner said he always makes his first draft in long hand, then makes revisions and rewrites when he types out his manuscript for the publisher.
Mr. Falkner quickly admitted he hasn't written his "best novel," that it is yet to come. He didn't care to discuss possibilities of his book now in progress.
He announced his intentions of remaining at his picturesque Oxford home for some time, or until he completes his book at least.
William R. Ferris is the Joel R. Williamson Distinguished Professor of History, senior associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South, and adjunct professor of folklore at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, he has made numerous documentary films and has authored over 100 publications in the fields of folklore, history, literature, and photography.