Education: Resist the Mass

He quickly became a familiar figure on campus—a small, slight man with precise, courtly manners who was almost always smoking a pipe and wearing a Tyrolean hat. Students soon got used to meeting him out for a solitary walk as late as 2 a.m., or having him show up unannounced to watch an R.O.T.C. drill or a track meet. By last week, as he completed his four-month stay as writer-in-residence, famed Novelist William Faulkner seemed as much a fixture at the University of Virginia as the maples that line the campus.

Faulkner had never before settled at a college and spoken his...

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