Please Consider Taking a Course with Me


I want to update you on the status of the upcoming courses that I plan to teach:

The seminar on Ben Hecht’s “1001 Afternoons in Chicago,” at the Newberry Library, that was to have started last week, has been postponed until the planned Newberry reopening in July. No definite date yet for the seminar.
The seminar on “A Taste of Faulkner” at the Newberry, which I’m teaching with Bob Boone, was to have started in June, but will now have to wait until the Newberry reopens. No definite date as yet for the seminar.
The course on Isaac Bashevis Singer’s “A Crown of Feathers” is scheduled to begin June 18 at the Oakton Community College’s Emeritus program. Registration is open for it at www. Oakton.edu/conted.
I will be teaching a course on James Joyce’s “Ulysses” at Oakton starting in October. More information on this will be made available soon.

Faulkner in Hollywood


Author William Faulkner, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949, was employed as a Hollywood screenwriter, off and on, between 1932 and 1948. He was credited on four films and uncredited on twelve others. He worked with director Howard Hawks on three of his credited films—The Road to Glory, To Have and Have Not, and The Big Sleep. Among his uncredited films were Gunga Din, Drums Along the Mohawk, and Mildred Piece. The screenwriter character W.P. Mayhew, in the Coen Brothers’ film, Barton Fink, was based on Faulkner and played by John Mahoney.

Resurrecting Faulkner


William Faulkner was one of the most honored American authors in the 20th century, receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature, two Pulitzer Prizes for fiction and two National Book Awards. Though with all the public conversation today of race in America, it is my impression that a Faulkner book rarely is selected for a college reading list, an adult education course or a book club. I wonder why?
Faulkner’s fiction depicts life in Mississippi during both during slavery and post-emancipation segregation. The stories are often about the cruelty of White people and the suffering of African Americans. The characters use harsh and raw language rife with the N-Word. Faulkner acknowledged the “human stain” left from the South’s brutal history. He wrote “the past is not dead, it’s not even past.” Yet Faulkner, both the writer and human being, believed that there was hope for the future as he said I believe that man will not merely endure; he will prevail.”
Since Faulkner has been too long neglected, Bob Boone and I decided to teach a course on his writing at the Oakton Community College Emeritus program in Skokie. We call the course “A Taste of Faulkner.” It will be offered on six Thursday mornings from 10:00 until 11:30, from September 19 through October 31. There will be no class on October 24. Registration begins July 8. You can register at http://www.oakton.edu/conted.