Authors: William Faulkner
LAGS IN THE
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Joseph Blotner grew up in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, but lived and taught in the South for fifteen years. Educated at Drew, Northwestern, and the University of Pennsylvania, he interrupted his schooling to fly with the 8th Air Force in England during World War II. He then taught at the Universities of Idaho, Virginia, and North Carolina (Chapel Hill). At Virginia he was a member, and later chairman, of the Balch Committee, under whose auspices William Faulkner became Writer-in-Residence there. His writings on Faulkner include
Faulkner: A Biography, Selected Letters of William Faulkner, Faulkner in the University
(with Frederick L. Gwynn), and
The Modern American Political Novel: 1900–1960
Twice a Guggenheim Fellow and twice Fulbright Lecturer in American Literature at the University of Copenhagen, Professor Blotner has lectured extensively in the United States and Europe on American Literature and particularly the work of Faulkner. During 1977 he served as the first William Faulkner Lecturer at the University of Mississippi. He is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Michigan.
VINTAGE INTERNATIONAL EDITION, SEPTEMBER 1997
Copyright © 1979 by Random House, Inc.
Copyright © 1973, 1976, 1979 by Jill Faulkner Summers
Copyright 1931, 1932, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1947, 1955 by William Faulkner
Copyright renewed 1959, 1960, 1962 by William Faulkner
Copyright renewed © 1965 by Jill Faulkner Summers and Estelle Faulkner
Copyright renewed 1963, 1964, 1968, 1969, 1970 by Estelle Faulkner and Jill Faulkner Summers
Copyright renewed 1975 by Jill Faulkner Summers
All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright
Conventions. Published in the United States by Vintage Books,
a division of Random House, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in
Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.
Originally published in hardcover in the United States by
Random House, Inc., New York, in 1979.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Faulkner, William, 1897–1962.
Uncollected Stories of William Faulkner.
I. Blotner, Joseph Leo, 1923–. II. Title.
PS3511.A86A6 1981 813′.52 80-6120
Random House Web address:
To Albert Erskine,
I want first to thank Jill Summers for her help over the years. I am particularly grateful also to Professor James W. Webb of the University of Mississippi for the extraordinary kindnesses and scholarly assistance I have received from him, to the staff of the University of Mississippi Library, to Joan St.C. Crane, Edmund Berkeley, Jr., and their colleagues at the University of Virginia Library, and to Mrs. Lola L. Szladits of the Berg Collection of the New York Public Library. I shall always be grateful to the University of Mississippi for the gracious hospitality extended to me during the semester I taught there and to Marilyn Majors Monroe for her accurate, cheerful, and untiring labors as a research assistant which aided me so much in my work. My special thanks go to my daughter, Nancy Wright Blotner, and my wife, Yvonne Wright Blotner, for their careful and patient labor during many hours spent sitting with me and taking turns reading aloud manuscripts and typescripts of William Faulkner’s stories against magazine versions and then for reading the setting copy against the proofs. Once again it gives me particular pleasure to express my gratitude to the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies of the University of Michigan for the research grant which helped me to complete this book.
Go Down, Moses
This book consists of three kinds of stories: those which William Faulkner published but never reprinted in any of his short-story collections, those which he later revised to become parts of later books, and those which have remained until now unpublished.
Some of the third group are clearly apprentice work, but some of all three groups display qualities to be found in his best fiction. A number in each group were refused, some more than once, by various magazines, but so were a number of his most brilliant stories, and these rejections were usually a reflection upon the nature of the literary marketplace or editorial taste rather than the artistry of the author. Taken together, these stories present a view of Faulkner’s developing art over a span of more than thirty years. They embody a wide variety of styles and subject matter. His attitude toward them quite naturally varied too. Some he wrote because he was a craftsman who depended exclusively on his pen for his livelihood and very often had to write what he thought would sell rather than what he wanted to write. Some he wrote for personal pleasure. Others he wrote because they engaged his deepest interests as an artist and led in at least one instance to some of his greatest work.
Because of William Faulkner’s stature and the importance of his
contribution to literature, it is fitting that all of his completed work should be made available in convenient and easily accessible printed form. Some of these stories will be of particular interest to scholars and critics, who hitherto have been able to consult them only by traveling long distances to the libraries which house them. Most of them, it seems to me, will appeal to readers who love fiction. All of them, I think, will be of interest to admirers of his work.
Excluded here are stories previously collected in
Collected Stories of William Faulkner
, incomplete stories such as “Love” and “And Now What’s to Do?,” and excerpts from novels printed in magazines without change, such as “The Waifs” and “Hell Creek Crossing.” Also excluded are
The Wishing Tree
, which, like the one-act play
, Faulkner produced and bound himself as presentations and which are readily available in separate editions.
Where two treatments of the same short-story material exist, as in “Rose of Lebanon” and “A Return,” the one that seemed the better of the two has been used.
The texts of the unpublished stories have been taken from scripts typed by Faulkner. Editorial alterations of these texts have been kept to a minimum. Idiosyncratic punctuation and certain inconsistencies have been retained but typographical errors and misspellings have been corrected. Problematical material has been printed in brackets.