Cover image for A William Faulkner encyclopedia
A William Faulkner encyclopedia
Hamblin, Robert W.
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xii, 490 pages ; 25 cm
Reading Level:
1380 Lexile.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PS3511.A86 Z459 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



Sometimes called the American Shakespeare, William Faulkner is known for providing poignant and accurate renderings of the human condition, creating a world of colorful characters in his fictional Yoknapatawpha County, and writing in a style that is both distinct and demanding. Though he is known as a Southern writer, his appeal transcends regional and even national boundaries. Since winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950, he has been the subject of more than 5,000 scholarly books and articles. Academic interest in his career has been matched by popular acclaim, with some of his works adapted for the cinema. This reference is an authoritative guide to Faulkner's life, literature, and legacy.

The encyclopedia includes nearly 500 alphabetically arranged entries for topics related to Faulkner and his world. Included are entries for his works and major characters and themes, as well as the literary and cultural contexts in which his texts were conceived, written, and published. There are also entries for relatives, friends, and other persons important to Faulkner's biography; historical events, persons, and places; social and cultural developments; and literary and philosophical terms and movements. The entries are written by expert contributors who bring a broad range of perspectives and experience to their analysis of his work. Entries typically conclude with suggestions for further reading, and the volume closes with a bibliography and detailed index.

Author Notes

ROBERT W. HAMBLIN is Professor of English and Director of the Center for Faulkner Studies at Southeast Missouri State University. He is editor of the newsletter Teaching Faulkner and coeditor of Faulkner: A Comprehensive Guide to the Brodsky Collection (5 vols., 1982-89). His articles have appeared in such journals as Southern Review , Studies in Bibliography , American Notes and Queries , Southern Literary Journal , and Journal of Mississippi History .

CHARLES A. PEEK is Professor of English and Director of the Prairie Institute at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The associate editor of Teaching Faulkner , he has published essays on Faulkner in the Faulkner Journal and the MLA volume Approaches to Teaching The Sound and the Fury .

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The year 1997 was the centennial of the birth of William Faulkner, and the editors, both professors of English, chose this opportunity to begin work on an updated analysis of one of the masters of twentieth-century literature. This encyclopedia is not so much about Faulkner's personal but his literary life, with entries covering primary influences and major themes, works, major characters, family members, and critics. All entries are signed and have further reading lists included. The length of the entries varies from a long paragraph to three pages. Arrangement is alphabetical. Examples of entries on primary influences include Impressionism; Joyce, James; Paris; and Shakespeare. Examples of major themes include Religion, Slavery, and Sport. Entries that analyze Faulkner's writing include Point of view and Stream of consciousness, along with those for individual novels, short stories, screenplays, and other works. More than 50 contributors from a wide variety of colleges and universities were selected to participate in this study; and although this variety of well-known and newer Faulkner scholars allows for a multitude of opinions and voices, the editors admit that there is a wide range of writing styles. The volume concludes with a selected bibliography and an index. The editors' stated goal was to "apprise an already literate reader of what constitutes the main body of Faulkner's work and to demonstrate why the critical estimation of that work is so secure and still growing. . . . Ideally, the volume will encourage in all its users further exploration of the varied issues and circumstances that situate Faulkner's work for readers." Aimed at an audience already familiar with Faulkner or one ready to do research, this title is best suited for academic and larger public libraries, as well as high schools with Advanced Placement American Literature classes.

Choice Review

The magnitude and complexity of Faulkner's work would deter most from compiling a useful encyclopedia. As the editors state, "Despite Faulkner's international fame and ongoing critical repute, there has not been until now an encyclopedia of his life and work." The editors, with a number of noteworthy contributors, have provided a welcome addition to the study of Faulkner. More than 30 years have passed since publication of Dorothy Tuck McFarland's Crowell's Handbook of Faulkner (1964), Walter K. Everett's Faulkner's Art and Characters (1969), and Harry Runyan's A Faulkner Glossary (CH, Jul'64). Much of the biographical information is available elsewhere, as are some of the other entries, but this work brings them together in one place and the contributors have opportunity to provide fresh critical interpretations. Entries are arranged alphabetically, some followed by suggested readings, and the bibliography and index are excellent. The evolution of Faulkner criticism over the last 30 years finally has been absorbed and presented clearly and concisely. An extremely thorough work, worthwhile for all libraries. L. Windsor; Ohio University

Table of Contents

Alphabetical Entries
Selected Bibliographies