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Louis Daniel Brodsky, poet, businessman, and scholar, whose outstanding Faulkner collection became the basis for the creation of the Center for Faulkner Studies, died at his home in St. Louis on June 16, 2014.
A native of St. Louis, Brodsky became seriously interested in William Faulkner in 1959 when, as an undergraduate student at Yale University, he studied Faulkner's novels and stories in R. W. B. Lewis's course in American Studies. Shortly thereafter, with the help of New Haven book dealer Henry Wenning, he began to acquire first editions and inscribed copies of Faulkner's books. Over the next 30 years Brodsky gradually but persistently built his collection to a "world class" status, expanding his holdings to include manuscripts, letters, movie scripts, legal documents, photographs, and drawings, as well as books. In 1988, Brodsky transferred ownership of his collection to Southeast Missouri State University, but he continued to serve as curator of the materials, further developing the collection on behalf of the University. The following year the University created the Center for Faulkner Studies, with Robert W. Hamblin, Brodsky's collaborator, as the founding Director.
In addition to being an outstanding book collector, Brodsky was a noted Faulkner scholar and poet. He authored William Faulkner: Life Glimpses, a collection of biographical essays; and he co-edited, with Hamblin, a number of books and articles, including the multi-volume Faulkner: A Comprehensive Guide to the Brodsky Collection. Brodsky also published 83 volumes of poetry (more than 12,000 poems in all), three of which--Mississippi Vistas, Disappearing in Mississippi Latitudes, and Mistress Mississippi--deal with Faulknerian themes and settings. His book, You Can't Go Back, Exactly, won the 2004 Award for the Best Book of Poetry from the Center for Great Lakes Culture at Michigan State University. His last book, The Words of My Mouth and the Meditations of My Heart, a series of reflections based on the Book of Psalms, was written during his final year-long struggle with brain cancer.
Obituaries are available from St. Louis Public Radio and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Brodsky's daughter Trilogy has created a Facebook page in honor of her dad and his work: https://www.facebook.com/louisdanielbrodsky. A tribute to Brodsky by fellow Faulkner collector Seth Berner can be found here.