An incredible little passage from Faulkner’s Requiem for a Nun, ht PW:
Somebody to talk to, as we all seem to need, want, have to have, not to converse with you nor even agree with you, but just to keep quiet and listen. Which is all that people really want, really need; I meant, to behave themselves, keep out of one another’s hair; the maladjustments which they tell us breed the arsonists and rapists and murderers and thieves and the rest of the anti-social enemies, are not really maladjustments but simply because the embryonic murderers and thieves didn’t have anybody to listen to them: which is an idea the catholic church discovered two thousand years ago only it just didn’t carry it far enough or maybe it was too busy being the church to have to bother with man, or maybe it wasn’t the church’s fault at all but simply because it had to deal with human beings and maybe if the world was just populated with a kind of dumb creature half of which were dumb, couldn’t do anything but listen to the other half, couldn’t even escape from having to listen to the other half, there wouldn’t be any war.
And just as a reminder, Paul Walker will be giving a session (twice!) on “The Life and Work of William Faulkner” at our upcoming Fall Conference in Charlottesville, VA.