“I see no reason why a man should not write about anything he wants to, granted he either knows about it or feels deeply and sincerely about it..."
WILLIAM FAULKNER GIVES ADVICE AND ENCOURAGEMENT TO A YOUNG ASPIRING WRITER.
Dated March 15, 1937 and addressed to William Stevens at Swarthmore College, the letter reads in full:
“Dear Mr. Stevens,
Thank you for your letter about 'Jefferson' article. I see no reason why a man should not write about anything he wants to, granted he either knows about it or feels deeply and sincerely about it. Carry on with it and good luck to you.
[Signed] Wm Faulkner
Beverly Hills. Cal.
15 March 1937”
Faulkner, of course, was famous for writing what he “knows about”, namely the American South, creating an entire fictional world based upon his experiences growing up in Mississippi. Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for 1949 "for his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel."
The recipient, Willam Stevens, graduated with a B.A. from Swarthmore in 1937 (the same year of this letter). The “Jefferson” article Faulkner refers to was Stevens’s thesis on Faulkner titled “The Jefferson Chronicles of William Faulkner”.
With the original envelope addressed by Faulkner and signed by him above the return address. The envelope is from the Twentieth-Century Fox Film Corporation where Faulkner was working at the time as a screenwriter.
One page (8.5x11 inches); custom folder. Usual mailing folds, a few spots of soiling.
SCARCE: Faulkner letters with any literary content are exceedingly rare on the market.
Price: $9,500 .