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Flags in the Dust is a novel by the American author William Faulkner, completed in 1927. His publisher heavily edited the manuscript with Faulkner's reluctant consent, removing about 40,000 words in the process. That version was published as Sartoris in 1929.Faulkner's original manuscript of Flags in the Dust was published in 1973, and Sartoris was subsequently taken out of print.
The novel deals with the decay of an aristocratic southern family just after the end of World War I. The wealthy Sartoris family of Jefferson, Mississippi, lives under the shadow of its dead patriarch, Colonel John Sartoris. Colonel John was a Confederate cavalry officer during the Civil War, built the local railroad, and is a folk hero. The surviving Sartorises are his younger sister, Virginia Du Pre ("Aunt Jenny" or "Miss Jenny"), his son Bayard Sartoris ("Old Bayard"), and his great-grandson Bayard Sartoris ("Young Bayard").
The novel begins with the return of young Bayard Sartoris to Jefferson from the First World War. Bayard and his twin brother John, who was killed in action, were fighter pilots.
Young Bayard is haunted by the death of his brother. In addition to feeling intense survivor guilt, Bayard senses instinctively that everyone in town liked John better. Both were superb athletes, and fearless fighters, but as Aunt Jenny frequently points out, "Johnny" Sartoris was friendly, cheerful and good-natured to old and young alike, while Bayard was cold, sullen, and moody even before the war. As a result of all this, Bayard secretly feels that he should have been killed in Johnny's place. That and the family disposition for foolhardy acts push him into a pattern of self-destructive behavior, especially reckless driving in a recently purchased automobile.
Eventually young Bayard crashes the car off a bridge. During the convalescence which follows, he establishes a relationship with Narcissa Benbow, whom he marries. Despite promises to Narcissa to stop driving recklessly, he gets into a near wreck with old Bayard in the car, causing old Bayard to die of a heart attack. Young Bayard disappears from Jefferson, leaving his now pregnant wife with Aunt Jenny. He dies test-flying an experimental airplane on the day of his son’s birth.
In the autumn or winter of 1926, William Faulkner, twenty-nine, began work on the first of his novels about Yoknapatawpha County. Sherwood Anderson had told him some time before that he should write about his native Mississippi, and now Faulkner took that advice: he used his own land, and peopled it with men and women who were partly drawn from real life, and partly depicted as they should have been in some ideal mythopoeic structure. A year later, on September 29, 1927, the new novel was completed. It was 596 pages long in transcript, and he called it Flags in the Dust. Enthusiastic, Faulkner sent Flags in the Dust up to Horace Liveright (who had published his first two novels) in New York. Liveright read it, disliked it, and sent it back with his firm recommendation that Faulkner not try to offer it for publication anywhere else: it was too diffuse, too lacking in plot and structure; and, Liveright felt, no amount of revision would be able to salvage it. Faulkner, crushed, showed Flags in the Dust to several of his friends, who shared Liveright's opinion.
Despite the adversity Faulkner had faced, he still believed that this would be the book that would make his name as a writer, and for several months he tried to edit it himself, sitting at his worktable in Oxford. Finally, discouraged, he sent a new typescript off to Ben Wasson, his agent in New York. "Will you please try to sell this for me?" he asked Wasson. "I can't afford all the postage it's costing me." In the meantime, convinced that he would never become a successful novelist, Faulkner began to work on a book that he was sure would never mean anything to anyone but himself: The Sound and the Fury .
Wasson tried eleven publishers, all of whom rejected Flags in the Dust. Finally he gave the typescript to Harrison Smith, then an editor of Harcourt, Brace & Co. Smith liked it, and showed it to Alfred Harcourt, who agreed to publish it, provided that someone other than Faulkner perform the extensive cutting job that Harcourt felt was necessary. For fifty dollars, Wasson agreed to pare down his client's novel. On September 20, 1928, Faulkner received a contract for the book, now to be called Sartoris (no one knows who changed its name), which was to be about 110,000 words long, and which was to be delivered to Harcourt, Brace sixteen days later. Faulkner left immediately for New York, presumably to help Wasson with his revision. But when he sat down in Wasson's apartment to observe the operation on his novel, Faulkner found himself unable to participate. If it were cut, he felt, it would die. Wasson persisted, however, pointing out that the trouble with Flags in the Dust was that it was not one novel, but six, all struggling along simultaneously. This, to Faulkner, was praise: evidence of fecundity and fullness of vision, evidence that the world of Yoknapatawpha was rich enough to last. As he later wrote of his third novel, "I discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it." Nevertheless, Wasson kept his bargain with Alfred Harcourt. For the next two weeks, while Faulkner sat nearby writing The Sound and the Fury , Wasson went through the typescript of Flags in the Dust, making cuts of every sort until almost a fourth of the book had been excised. Harcourt, Brace published this truncated version on January 31, 1929, as Sartoris (with a dedication: "To Sherwood Anderson through whose kindness I was first published, with a belief that this book will give him no reason to regret that fact"), and the old Flags in the Dust was soon forgotten – by everyone but Faulkner.
Faulkner had preserved the original holograph manuscript of Flags in the Dust, 237 pages in his neat but minuscule and almost illegible hand; and he had bound together with thin wire the 596 pages of a sort of composite typescript of the novel, produced by the combination of three separate but overlapping typescript drafts. The first draft, 447 pages long, seems to have been begun before he completed his manuscript version. The second, 99 pages of which are in the composite typescript, was probably written after he had completed the manuscript and the first typescript. In the third, 146 pages appear to have been a revision of the second typescript. Why Faulkner should have labored over the reconstruction of his text, is not clear: perhaps he thought of his composite typescript as a working draft which would allow him ultimately to restore to his novel that which Wasson had carved from it – or perhaps, fastidious as he was, he simply could not bring himself to throw away all of those typed pages. The manuscript and typescript were eventually deposited at the Alderman Library of the University of Virginia, where they lay more or less undisturbed until Mrs. Jill Summers, Faulkner's daughter, remembered that her late father had spoken often of a restoration of Flags in the Dust. Mrs. Summers asked Douglas Day and Albert Erskine Jr., editor at Random House, to undertake the task.
Flags in the Dust aims at being a faithful reproduction of that composite typescript. Certain non-substantive alterations in spelling and punctuation have been made, in order to bring the novel into conformity with Faulkner's other books; but wherever possible his many idiosyncrasies, especially those on which he himself insisted during his years of working with editors at Random House, were allowed to stand. The final complete typescript, which must have served as setting copy for the Harcourt, Brace edition of Sartoris (and which must have been the draft in which Wasson made his cuts), has not survived. Nor have any galley proofs. There was no way for anyone to tell which of the many differences between Flags in the Dust and Sartoris were the result of Faulkner's emendations in the hypothetical setting copy and the galley proofs, and which belonged to Wasson. Faulkner firmly believed Flags in the Dust was better than Sartoris.
William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer known for his novels and short stories set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, based on Lafayette County, Mississippi, where Faulkner spent most of his life. Faulkner is one of the most celebrated writers of American literature, and is widely considered one of the best writers of Southern literature.
The Sound and the Fury is a novel by the American author William Faulkner. It employs several narrative styles, including stream of consciousness. Published in 1929, The Sound and the Fury was Faulkner's fourth novel, and was not immediately successful. In 1931, however, when Faulkner's sixth novel, Sanctuary, was published—a sensationalist story, which Faulkner later said was written only for money—The Sound and the Fury also became commercially successful, and Faulkner began to receive critical attention.
Yoknapatawpha County is a fictional Mississippi county created by the American author William Faulkner, largely based upon and inspired by Lafayette County, Mississippi, and its county seat of Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner often referred to Yoknapatawpha County as "my apocryphal county."
Louis Grenier is a fictional character in William Faulkner's novels and stories.
Sartoris is a novel, first published in 1929, by the American author William Faulkner. It portrays the decay of the Mississippi aristocracy following the social upheaval of the American Civil War. The 1929 edition is an abridged version of Faulkner's original work. The full text was published in 1973 as Flags in the Dust. Faulkner's great-grandfather William Clark Falkner, himself a colonel in the American Civil War, served as the model for Colonel John Sartoris. Faulkner also fashioned other characters in the book on local people from his hometown Oxford. His friend Ben Wasson was the model for Horace Benbow, while Faulkner's brother Murry served as the antetype for young Bayard Sartoris.
Sanctuary is a 1931 novel by American author William Faulkner about the rape and abduction of an upper-class Mississippi college girl, Temple Drake, during the Prohibition era. The novel was Faulkner's commercial and critical breakthrough and established his literary reputation, but was controversial given its themes. It is said Faulkner claimed it was a "potboiler", written purely for profit, but this has been debated by scholars and Faulkner's own friends.
Intruder in the Dust is a novel about an African American farmer accused of murdering a white man. Nobel Prize–winning American author William Faulkner published it in 1948.
William Clark Falkner was a soldier, lawyer, politician, businessman, and author in northern Mississippi. He is most notable for the influence he had on the work of his great-grandson, author William Faulkner.
The Reivers: A Reminiscence, published in 1962, is the last novel by the American author William Faulkner. The bestselling novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1963. Faulkner previously won this award for his book A Fable, making him one of only four authors to be awarded it more than once. Unlike many of his earlier works, it is a straightforward narration and eschews the complicated literary techniques of his more well known works. It is a picaresque novel, and as such may seem uncharacteristically lighthearted given its subject matter. For these reasons, The Reivers is often ignored by Faulkner scholars or dismissed as a lesser work. He previously had referred to writing a "Golden Book of Yoknapatawpha County" with which he would finish his literary career. It is likely that The Reivers was meant to be this "Golden Book". The Reivers was adapted into a film of the same name directed by Mark Rydell and starring Steve McQueen as Boon Hogganbeck.
The Town and the City is a novel by Jack Kerouac, published by Harcourt Brace in 1950. This was the first major work published by Kerouac, who later became famous for his second novel On the Road (1957). Like all of Jack Kerouac's major works, The Town and the City is essentially an autobiographical novel, though less directly so than most of his other works. The Town and the City was written in a conventional manner over a period of years, and much more novelistic license was taken with this work than after Kerouac's adoption of quickly written "spontaneous prose". The Town and the City was written before Kerouac had developed his own style, and it is heavily influenced by Thomas Wolfe.
The Unvanquished is a 1938 novel by the American author William Faulkner, set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County. It tells the story of the Sartoris family, who first appeared in the novel Sartoris. The Unvanquished takes place before that story, and is set during the American Civil War. Principal characters are Bayard Sartoris, John Sartoris, Granny, Ringo (Morengo), Ab Snopes, Cousin Drusilla, Aunt Jenny, Louvinia, and the lieutenant.
Mosquitoes is a satiric novel by the American author William Faulkner. The book was first published in 1927 by the New York-based publishing house Boni & Liveright and is the author's second novel. Sources conflict regarding whether Faulkner wrote Mosquitoes during his time living in Paris, beginning in 1925 or in Pascagoula, Mississippi in the summer of 1926. It is, however, widely agreed upon that not only its setting, but also its content clearly reference Faulkner's personal involvement in the New Orleans creative community where he spent time before moving to France.
Soldiers' Pay is the first novel published by the American author William Faulkner. It was originally published by Boni & Liveright on February 25, 1926. It is unclear if Soldiers' Pay is the first novel written by Faulkner. It is however the first novel published by the author. Faulkner was working on two manuscripts while finishing Soldiers' Pay.
The Town is a novel by the American author William Faulkner, published in 1957, about the fictional Snopes family of Mississippi. It is the second of the "Snopes" trilogy, following The Hamlet (1940) and completed by The Mansion (1959).
Douglas Turner Day III was an American novelist, biographer, scholar and critic. He was a popular professor of English literature at the University of Virginia, where he taught almost four decades.
The Waste Land is a poem by T. S. Eliot, widely regarded as one of the most important poems of the 20th century and a central work of modernist poetry. Published in 1922, the 434-line poem first appeared in the United Kingdom in the October issue of Eliot's The Criterion and in the United States in the November issue of The Dial. It was published in book form in December 1922. Among its famous phrases are "April is the cruellest month", "I will show you fear in a handful of dust", and the mantra in the Sanskrit language "Shantih shantih shantih".
John Faulkner was an American author. His works, in a plain style, depict life in Mississippi. Faulkner is best-remembered for the novels Men Working (1941) and Dollar Cotton (1942), and the memoir, My Brother Bill: An Affectionate Reminiscence (1963), about his elder sibling, author William Faulkner.
Miss MacIntosh, My Darling is a novel by Marguerite Young. She has described it as "an exploration of the illusions, hallucinations, errors of judgment in individual lives, the central scene of the novel being an opium addict's paradise."
Bayard is a masculine given name. Notable people with the name include:
Dean Faulkner Wells was an American author, editor, and publisher.