Father I have committed a sin. No really. A sin of omission but a sin nonetheless. A sin so grievous that for years I lied about it, to others and to myself. Until very recently I had never read ANYTHING by Faulkner. NOTHING. I lied to others by implying and saying outright that I had. I lied to myself by convincing myself that it was not my fault. It must be the world's fault--how could I have grown up (ostensibly) in the South, yet never be required to read any Faulkner at school? And how could I major in English at an Ivy League university and be able to avoid Faulkner completely? It's outrageous. It's obviously the fault of the educational system. Although, now that I think about it, I'm not sure I was every required to read Hemingway or Fitzgerald for high school or college, but I read them on my own. Could this be right? Can I trust my own memory? If I read them, why not Faulkner? Was I scared? Was his reputation too intimidating? Why could I read Joyce, Woolf, James, Eliot, Pound, Mann, Kafka, all the modernists (as well as the usual classics, Shakespeare, classics in French, "Great Books" up the wazoo, something from every century of English literature from Beowulf on, plus literary theory plus reading Garcia Marquez and Kundera in my spare time plus dadaists, surrealists, post-structuralists, postmodernists, pop fiction AND Jay McInerney) nonstop in college, but never any Faulkner? Where can the blame be laid? Is redemption possible?
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