Exhibition Uncovers the Many Faces of William Faulkner

Faulkner standing on the lawn with a pipe. black and white image

It’s been 60 years since William Faulkner first came to the University of Virginia as the Balch Writer-in-Residence. In February, the University is marking the diamond anniversary of the Nobel Prize-winning writer’s arrival on Grounds with an exclusive new exhibition.

The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library will open “Faulkner: Life and Works” on Feb. 6.

“The exhibition covers two bodies of work. There are the literary works that Faulkner composed, and then there’s the person who he became over the course of his life,” Special Collections Curator Molly Schwartzburg said. “We know that Faulkner liked constructing and playing with personae. The most famous – or infamous – example of this was that he pretended that he had been wounded in WWI and he hadn’t. He loved performing that tall tale.”

These different personae come to life throughout the exhibition. Along with the largest collection of Faulkner manuscripts in the world, the UVA Library also holds a great deal of the writer’s personal effects, letters, interviews and audio recordings, all of which shed light on the many facets of his identity.

Below UVA Today offers a sneak preview of some of these items.

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Katie McNally

Office of University Communications