Faulkner is no thinker — his occasional reflections on politics or the race question do not illuminate their subjects; he is no poet — his purple passages are embarrassingly bad; he is not even, in my opinion, a profound psychologist, but he is a very great magician who can make twenty years in Yoknapatawpha seem to the reader like twenty minutes and make him want to stay there forever. Furthermore, he employs white magic, that is to say, his charms have a moral purpose: he would teach and, I believe, succeeds in teaching us both to love the Good and to realize the price which must be paid for that love.

— Auden on Faulkner’s The Mansion (1960)