Education: The Visitor

It was his first classroom appearance, and the shy, drawling visiting lecturer admitted being "terrified." If he could not get a good discussion going, then he would simply be wasting everybody's time. Nobel Prizewinning Novelist William Faulkner (Sanctuary, The Sound and the Fury) need not have worried. Last week, as he began his five-month tenure as the University of Virginia's first visiting "writer in residence," he proved from the start that in his own quiet, philosophic way, he would give his students plenty to talk about.

What, asked reporters, is the value of a college education to a writer? Said Faulkner: "That's...

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