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Estella E. Schoenberg, 94, English literature scholar and expert on William Faulkner

June 6, 1922 – April 17, 2017

Estella E. Schoenberg, a noted English literature scholar and professor emerita at SUNY Buffalo State, died April 17 in Williamsville Suburban Nursing Home. She was 94.

Born in Louisville, Ky., the former Estella Irvine earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Transylvania College in Kentucky, a master’s degree from Columbia University and her doctorate from the University of Tulsa.

Mrs. Schoenberg lived in New York City, Denmark and Little Rock, Ark., before she joined the Buffalo State faculty in 1966. She taught contemporary literature and creative writing, retiring in 1998.

Regarded as a leading interpreter of novelist William Faulkner, whom she once met in Kentucky, she published two books – a ground-breaking critique, “Old Tales and Talking: Quentin Compson in William Faulkner’s ‘Absalom Absalom!’ and Related Works” in 1977, and “Faulkner William” – as well as many articles in scholarly journals. She also spoke frequently on Faulkner at academic conferences.

Her other focus of study was English poet John Milton and she published numerous articles on his epic “Paradise Lost.” In an illustrated 1688 edition of the poem, she discovered the faces of British kings on figures of the devil.
Her husband of 44 years, Jack, a retired printing company executive, died in 1993. A son, Robert P., also an English professor at Buffalo State, died in 2006.

Survivors include a grandson and two step-granddaughters.

Services will be held this summer in Danville, Ky.

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