Faulkner’s drinks

Consider this post from The Paris Review. It speaks of many famous writers’ favorite drinks, but William Faulkner is predominantly delineated. Money quote:

Kay Boyle wrote in The New Republic in 1938 that there were two Faulkners, “the one who stayed down south and the one who went to war in France and mixed with foreigners and aviators.” The former was elegant, a bit rambly, and “almost ludicrously authentic”; while the latter, inspired by the modernism of Joyce, Eliot, and Stein, was dense, allusive, Guernica-contorted and Guernica-grim, but always (Boyle remarked sharply) “a little awed, a little unsure, provincially aware of the chances he is taking.”

I like to think of these two Faulkners as embodied in his two favorite cocktails: the toddy and the mint julep. The julep is High Faulknerian. Taking in the dense, lush language in his most lauded works—As I Lay DyingThe Sound and the Fury, and Absalom, Absalom!—is precisely like burying one’s nose in a tangle of fresh mint and sipping a strong bourbon. But the other Faulkner, the one who stayed down south, exemplified by the Snopes trilogy and Sanctuary and Light in August, is more like a cold toddy: light, citrusy, superficially graceful, yet deceptively complex…

Apparently, the toddy can be served cold or hot. I did not know that.

Hat tip: Andrew Sullivan

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