Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Book launch for Robert Hamblin’s newest edition: “My Life with Faulkner and Brodsky”

Monday, November 13, 2017

Southeast’s English professor emeritus Robert Hamblin just released a new book, “My Life with Faulkner and Brodsky.” This book is about the friendship, collaboration and history of the Faulkner Center in Kent Library at Southeast.

The book reception was held on Nov. 9 and was available for anyone to come and go as they wish, receive an autograph and talk to Hamblin about his book.

“My Life with Faulkner and Brodsky” book on display at at the book launch reception on Nov. 8.
Photo by Madison Little

Director of the Center for Faulkner Studies Christopher Rieger said this book is about how Hamblin met author and american poet Louis Daniel Brodsky and ended up collaborating with him to work on Brodsky’s Faulkner collection together.

Hamblin met Brodsky through one of his students who had told him about Brodsky being a Faulkner collector as well.

William Faulkner was a Nobel prize-winning author who became famous for writing novels and poetry. Both Hamblin and Brodsky were able to collaborate based on their shared knowledge on Faulkner.

“We have one of the four major collections of Faulkner materials that exist in the country, so we get scholars coming from all over the country and around the world to use all the materials for research,” Rieger said.

Rieger said Southeast was chosen for one of these four universities to receive the collection due to Hamblin's joint efforts with Brodsky.

Hamblin said his friendship with Brodsky sparked their collaboration and the collection of books they have written together.

“We met in 1977 and he had been collecting William Faulkner materials for 20 years and I had been teaching his stories for 20 years, so we had a good background,” Hamblin said.

They wrote eight books together, along with exhibits, articles and conferences.

Dr. Robert Hamblin conversing with guest at the book launch reception on Nov. 8.
Photo by Madison Little

He said in the first 10 years Brodsky owned the collection and Hamblin had the virtual monopoly on it, but Brodsky eventually allowed Southeast to acquire the collection. In order for Southeast to receive the collection, university needed Brodsky to grant access to it.

He said the center is now a major player in the international studies of Faulkner’s work.

“Southeast has been very supportive of the center over the years,” he said.

He said the Faulkner collection is only available at three other universities, those being

Ole Miss (in Faulkner's hometown of Oxford, Mississippi), University of Texas and University of Virginia.

Rieger also serves as an English professor and has a new class available in the spring of 2018 called “Faulkner Seminar.”

He said this class will allow students to use the Faulkner Center themselves and learn more about the history behind it.

The Center for Faulkner Studies is located in Kent Library and is available for use by students or anyone interested.