This is perfect for summertime internet browsing: Newsweek links to a huge archive of audio of William Faulkner at University of Virginia. Faulkner was the writer in residence there for two years, and the recordings span most of that time. He does some readings, but the best bits are the Q&A sessions with students and faculty, including this passage from an interview with the Department of Psychology:

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Unidentified participant: Mr. Faulkner, could you say a few words about what you might consider as irrational human behavior?

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William Faulkner: No, I couldn't. I've never tried to set up what might be a pattern for me to measure irrational human behavior. To me, all human behavior is—is unpredictable, and considering man's frailty the—in the ramshackle universe he functions in, it's—it's all irrational. It couldn't be very rational because his universe is not a very rational one, it seems to me. I—I think that probably no writer would set himself up to judge. If he'd begun to judge the people he writes about, his—all the—the—whatever the gods are that lets him do something which is his cup of tea, he likes, might withdraw the gift. If he begins to—to preach or—or proselytize or—or pass judgment, that the fire might go out. Also, I think the—the writer is not really interested in—in bettering man's condition. He really doesn't care a damn about man's condition. He is interested in all man's behavior, with no judgment whatever. That it's—it's motion. It's life. The only alternative is—is nothingness, death. And so, to the writer, anything man does is fine because it's motion. If he were not doing that, he would be nothing. He'd be dead. Maybe the writer has no concept of morality at all, only an integrity to hold always to what he believes to be the—the facts and truth of human behavior, not moral standards at all. But that man in his books does what man will do, not what man should do, but what he will do, maybe what he can't help but do.

You can find the whole archive here. (Thanks to Slog Tipper Leslie.)

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