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Faulkner at 117, and the tragedy of race in America
Faulkner at 117, and the tragedy of race in America

William Faulkner, who was born in Mississippi 117 years ago today, was America's poet and prophet of race. It's unconventional to observe a man's 117th birthday, but in the wake of a long summer that brought the nation's unresolved racial divide back to the surface in spectacular fashion, there may be no better time to re-examine how Faulkner understood this unique national burden. Faulkner perceived race relations through the prism of his Mississippi upbringing, but his artistry allowed him to penetrate the complexities of daily interactions to find the universal truths within. What he saw was that race lay inescapably just below the surface of the American experience....

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