When I was in graduate school at the University of Mississippi, noted William Faulkner biographer Joseph Blotner visited campus. I met him in Square Books, the well-known independent bookstore where I worked at the time.
I was heavily into Faulkner, stacking up class upon class, filling my transcript with as many Faulkner courses as possible. And one of my teachers introduced me to Blotner.
He signed his book to me, “To Scott, a certified Faulkner scholar.” I realized he was only being nice, but still, that autograph and brief note meant the world to me.
So I was saddened to see the announcement of his death in The New York Times. Blotner passed away in Oakland, California in mid-November. The Times has a pretty lengthy bio of Blotner with details of his friendship with Faulkner.