suggestion to explain the apparent sudden.nbreatcthrough in his Yoknapatawphannovels. His concept of poetry,nstressing finish and perfection, was restrictive.nBut oral stories were nevernfinished or definitive. Each teller wasnexpected to make his own changes andnadditions, and they offered Faulkner thensame freedom. Perhaps, too, hearingnand telling such stories had as much tondo with his emphasis upon the tellernand listener—in addition to the tale—nas with such experimental novelists asnConrad and Joyce. His anxieties andntensions added to his achievement—thendesire to withdraw from life and the desirento participate, the desire to concealnand the desire to tell all (preferably in ansingle sentence). The first conflict henresolved, Minter says, by turning towardn”explorations of region, family, and selfnthat would make his writing a mode ofnaction rather than substitution, a formnof adventure rather than evasion.” Thensecond led toward telling stories by indirection.nBy indirection he could saynthings he dared not say directly and discovernthings he did not know he knew.nHe could also speak with greater power.nHis method, he said, was to present “thenshadow of the branch, and let the mindncreate the tree.”nMinter does justice to Faulkner’s persistentnthemes, such as the universalndiscovered in the local, the interconnectednessnof lives, and the past as anforce living in the present. In the family,nthe center of interconnectedness, henshows how repeatedly it is children whonhold Faulkner-s sympathy, and hownoften they suffer from unloving or inadequatenparents. Here too Minter suggestsna projection from Faulkner’s ownnexperience. We cannot now recovernFaulkner’s childhood, but Minter doesnshow that the parents’ marriage wasnabout as unhappy as Faulkner’s own.nDrawing upon a study by John Irwin,nhe observes the sustained concern withnincest, but says little about possiblensources or significance. He agrees withnearlier critics who profess to find innFaulkner a distrust, or even dislike, forn^’omen. It is true that Faulkner did createnadmirable women characters, butnall such admirable women are eithernblack or members of what Southernersnlike to call “the yeoman class.” When,nin “Carcassonne,” he asserted that creativenimagination is a male monopoly, henseemed to be borrowing from SherwoodnAnderson, who had borrowed fromnNietzsche. ”Carcassonne” seems to datenfrom about 1925. One wonders whatnFaulkner’s response was when, in then30’s, the work of his fellow-Mississippian.nEudora Welty, began to appear.nThe dominant tone of Faulkner’s worknMinter appropriately calls elegiac. Allninstitutions and all men pass, to be renplaced by new forms and new strivings.nThe writer pays his tribute to past ornpassing times and men, to their creativity,ntheir courage, their endurance andntheir customary confusion.nMinter shows critical judgment (ornat least agrees with me) in placing Absalom,nAbsalom! at the top of Faulkner’snworks. Following its publication hentraces a steady decline. Possibly wearinessnwas a major cause (consider whatnhe had produced between 1928 andn1936), but Minter also credits increasingnpreoccupation with racial injusticenand war. What Henry James calledn”views” (thanking God he hadn’t any)nhad been subordinate to character andnaction, and indeed grew out of them.nNow didacticism increased and charactersnwere shaped, or misshaped, to carrynmessages. Of the result in A FablenMinter says, “It was almost as thoughnhis creative self were being forced tonserve a foreign dictator.” Part of his unhappinessnin his last years was causednbv the honestv and accuracv with whichnIn the Mailnhe recognized that his newer work wasninferior. But he found some consolationnin what he had achieved. Minternbelieves that he died knowing that, asnhe had said of Camus, he had done whatnhe had it in him to do.nMinter compresses a great deal of information,ninference and judgment intona relatively short book (251 pages plusnnotes, bibliography and a thorough index),nbut it is the mark of a good studynthat it leaves the reader with a desirento know the answers to a few more questions,nand perhaps to add a bit to fillnin the outline. For example, Faulkner’snanti-industrial stance (“Standard Oil”nus a kind of swear word) was traditionalnin the South. But has anyone traced theninfluence on hi^ opinions and attitudesnof such determinedly leftist New Yorknand Hollywood friends as Dorothy Parker,nDashiell Hammett, and Lillian Hellman?nAgain, Minter reports Europeannresponse to Faulkner. “In France, Faulknernis God.” said Sartre. He tells us thatnblack activists rejected Faulkner’s racialnstrategy, but he tells us nothing of thenresponse of young black writers. AlbertnMurray,’ in South to a Very Old Place,nshows us such a group at Tuskogeen(Ralph Ellison was on its fringes) whontook Faulkner’s work as inspiration andnguide. It seemed to them that he hadnpresented the feeling of life in the Southnmuch more accurately than any predecessor.nNot being black, he had not quitencaught the black experience, but he hadncome surprisingly close. If, as cousinnMcCaslin suggests in “The Bear,” thensoul hovers in its native area after thenbody dies, and Faulkner’s ghost nownhaunts Oxford or whatever big woodsnremain in Mississippi, he would be gladnto know that. DnFirst Glance at Adrienne von Speyr by Hans Urs von Balthasar; Ignatius Press;nSan Francisco. An examination of the life and works of Adrienne von Speyr.nBitter Grass: The Cruel Truth About Marijuana by Roy Hanu Hart, M.D.; PsychoneuroiogianPress; Shawnee Mission, Kansas. An analysis by a clinical psychiatristnof the physical and emotional effects of marijuana.nnn^sasmssi^^nSeptember/October 1981n