William Faulkner and Barack Obama

C. Max Magee at The Millions has an interesting post about the recent speech made by Barack Obama addressing the issue of race. Although he was more or less compelled to make a speech on the subject the way he did so has been generally praised for its candour and bravery. More interesting though is the way he used a quotation from William Faulkner:

Barack Obama gave a speech today taking on the complicated history of racial relations in America. Considering the how difficult a topic this is to tackle, it was a brave move. Embedded within the speech was a quote from Faulkner, "The past isn’t dead and buried. In fact, it isn’t even past."

Andrew Sullivan at The Atlantic ran a letter from a reader explaining why "what Obama was signaling – that his speech – and his candidacy – are about confronting history from a Faulknerian standpoint was, to me, the bravest thing he did."

Here’s the link to Magee’s post.

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