Ten Minutes at Faulkner’s House: Postcard From Oxford, Mississippi is a poignant and funny vignette of writer Joe Woodward’s trip to see the house of an idol.

He and his family arrive too late, they think, to gain entry into the house and after helping one of his kids to pee in the woods, he and his wife strong arm the graduate student in charge of the house into letting them take a quick look around. What he finds is not so much the answer to how Faulkner did what he did, rather he finds a rekindling of his own passion:

There’s been no The Sound and the Fury in my life, yet. But, who knows, lightening may strike even now. To admit to such grand ambition is childlike and out of fashion, like me I suppose. I would write small, perfect, clever books if it was in me, but it is not. My childhood wasn’t simple enough, and so forth. I want to write something crushing and messy, something so bewildering and heavy that the United States Post Office refuses to deliver it. In the meantime, though, as I try muscle through it, please do stop by my house on Santa Clara Avenue. I’ll be there, working—still that graduate student in love, on the phone. I’ll give you your ten minutes for sure.

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