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Faulkner and Love: The Women Who Shaped His Art, A Biography Hardcover – April 7, 2009
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The received wisdom when I studied Faulkner was that his mother, Maud, was domineering and critical of her son. His wife, Estelle, we were told, was merely an alcoholic with extravagant spending habits. We weren't even told of the existence of Caroline (Callie) Barr. Evidently, scholars couldn't conceive that the African-American woman who raised Faulkner and his brothers could possibly have inspired the writing of such a genius. In the dedication of Go Down Moses, Faulkner wrote that Callie `gave him immeasurable devotion and love.' The intertwining of his life and that of Caroline Barr is at the heart of what makes Faulkner and Love such a revelation.
Maud Butler Falkner passed on to her son her love of art and literature. I learned from Faulkner and Love that Maud painted over 600 works during her lifetime. Callie Barr told him endless stories of her life as a slave while looking after him as a child. His wife Estelle was a beautiful, intelligent woman that Faulkner had loved for years before being able to marry her. In today's psychological jargon we would perhaps call the four of them, with all their flaws, `co-dependent.Read more ›