July 4, 2010 2:37:00 AM
OXFORD -- Several William Faulkner novels and short stories were made into poignant feature films, but, unknown to many, the Nobel Prize-winning author also wrote screenplays for Hollywood.
"During the 1930s and ''40s, Faulkner did several tours of duty in Hollywood of varying length as a screenwriter," said Donald Kartiganer, director of the 37th annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference July 18-22 at the University of Mississippi. "Introduction of the ''talkies'' caused the film industry to bring in established writers, such as William Faulkner, to write for film."
Participants will view and discuss nine of these motion pictures at the conference, which is organized this year around the theme "Faulkner and Film."
"The transference from words on a page to images and dialogue for film is a very complicated process," Kartiganer said. "As a matter of fact, the transference occasionally worked in the opposite direction, as Faulkner seems to have drawn on his screenplay experience for some of his own novel-writing techniques."
Tours and picnic
The schedule also features daylong tours of northeast Mississippi and a picnic at Rowan Oak, Faulkner''s home. The geography and culture that surrounded Faulkner found their way into much of his writing for both film and fiction.
"From scholars who have studied and analyzed his writing to casual readers who enjoy his content, people frequently find themselves even more interested in Faulkner after having visited his home and places he frequented," Kartiganer said.
"Many people who come to the conference have come to the house before, so each year I try to keep something new on display especially for them," said William "Bill" Griffith, Rowan Oak curator.
Appearing for the first time at the conference will be Lee Caplin, a film producer and exclusive representative of the Literary Estate of Faulkner. Caplin produced "Two Soldiers" and will offer commentary on the film at the meeting.
Returning scholars include Deborah Barker of Ole Miss; Robert Hamblin of Missouri State University; Peter Lurie of the University of Richmond; Matthew Ramsey of Salve Regina University; Matthew Sutton of the College of William and Mary; and Randall Shawn Wilhelm of the University of Tennessee. There are also many first-time conference scholars scheduled.
Discount conference rates are available for groups of five or more students. Contact Robert Fox at [email protected] for details. A limited number of waivers of registration for graduate students also are available. Contact Kartiganer at [email protected] for details.
For more information on the program, registration, course credit, accommodations and travel, visit www.outreach.olemiss.edu/events/faulkner/