Posted in Short Stories

William Faulkner: Golden Land

I think William Faulkner’s “Golden Land” is his nod to F. Scott Fitzgerald. Or maybe he just discovered similar values or lack thereof in Hollywood. Both Faulkner and Fitzgerald dabbled in screenwriting. I don’t know if they were doing it at the same time. That’s probably possible.

In the story, Ira Ewing has come to live in Beverly Hills from Nebraska. His mother has moved near him, also from Nebraska. Ira’s grown daughter seems to be an actress and is involved in some sort of legal problem. Ira is an alcoholic and abusive husband who hates where he lives.

Here’s Ira’s (or Faulkner’s) description of people on the beach:

Lying so, they seemed to him to walk along the rim of the world as though they and their kind alone inhabited it, and he with his forty-eight years were the forgotten last survivor of another race and kind, and they in turn precursors of a new race not yet seen on the earth: of men and women without age, beautiful as gods and goddesses, and with the minds of infants.

Yeah, at least here, Faulkner and Fitzgerald seem to observe the same world and come to some of the same conclusions.

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