Letter: Booker judges who chose Swift haven't changed their minds

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The Independent Online
Those still musing over the structural parallels between Last Orders and William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying may be interested to know that Faulkner faced a similar question while he was writer-in-residence at the University of Virginia during 1957-58. In one of his seminars he was asked: "Did you consciously or unconsciously parallel As I lay Dying with The Scarlet Letter?"

Faulkner replied: "No, a writer don't (sic) have to consciously parallel because he robs and steals from everything he ever wrote or read or saw. I was simply writing a tour de force and as every writer does, I took whatever I needed wherever I could find it, without compunction, and with no sense of violating any ethics or hurting anyone's feelings because any writer feels that anyone after him is perfectly welcome to take any trick he has learned or any plot that he has used."

Tom Duddy