Thursday, October 14, 2010


Dwight Garner of the New York Times has posted the following archive news clipping about William Faulkner.

I think it rather confirms what we know about many serious drinkers, they don’t much care what they put in their mouth so long as it’s alcoholic.  Croquettes made from canned salmon were one of Faulkner’s favorite foods, apparently.

In fact Faulkner didn’t even wanted to go to Stockholm to receive the Nobel Prize itself, but under pressure from his own family and the US State Department, he did eventually accept the invitation.

Thanks to the amazingly detailed records of the Nobel Prize folk we’re actually able to know what Faulkner had, or at least was served, for dinner that night.  The menu was as follows;

Potage aux champignons

Filet de bœuf béarnaise

Fonds d´artichauts princesse

Glace Nobel

And I think you could certainly argue that Stockholm is a very long way to go for mushroom soup, at least the wines were good, Kressman Monopole Rouge
, and Champagne Perrier-Jouët & Cie.  Faulkner would have had no objections to those surely.

Things have apparently got a bit more interesting, and more localivore over the years.  The menu for Barak Obama’s Peace Prize dinner included cured reindeer fillet, elk marinated in juniper berry and thyme, and aquavit sorbet.  I’d go a reasonable way for any of those things.

Incidentally, it's almost impossible to find a photograph of Faulkner with a drink in his hand; almost impossible to find one without a cigarette.  Obama evidently has no such inhibitions.

Ultimately of course we know that Faulkner preferred something harder than wine: maybe Scotch, corn liquor, or moonshine.  He’s also the man who said, rather opaquely it seems to me, “There is no such thing as bad whiskey. Some whiskeys just happen to be better than others. But a man shouldn't fool with booze until he's fifty; then he's a damn fool if he doesn't.”

Come on Bill, if you have to wait till you’re 50 it’s way too late to start foolin.

Below is a picture of Faulkner at table.  His plate looks ominously empty.

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