Sunday, May 16, 2021

Faulkner Exhibit Open Through December at University

Faulkner Bust
A bust of William Faulkner in the Faulkner Room, at J.D. Williams Library.

The Faulkner Exhibit continues today in the Faulkner Room, at the University of Mississippi J.D. Williams Library, to celebrate the first full exhibit there on William Faulkner since 1997.
The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Faulkner Room is located within Special Collections, on the library’s third floor.
“William Faulkner’s Books: A Bibliographic Exhibit” includes 20 cases devoted to the Nobel Prize-winner author’s life and work.
A reception kicked off with a lecture Thursday by Dr. Jay Watson, UM Howry Chair for Faulkner Studies and professor of English, on Faulkner’s legacy and the new exhibit. Watson was the president of the William Faulkner Society from 2009-2012.
Artifacts of note in the exhibit include an introduction he wrote for a printing of The Sound and the Fury that was not printed because of the Great Depression. For years, it was believed the introduction was lost, until it was found among his papers at Rowan Oak.
A copy of his book The Marble Faun, a book of poetry from 1924, includes an inscription to the postal inspector who got Faulkner in trouble when he worked at the university post office, in the days when he wrote more than worked there.
That book was published by a vanity press, Ford said.
A first-edition of Intruder in the Dust includes the signatures of the play's entire cast.
A first-edition of Intruder in the Dust includes the signatures of the play’s entire cast.

A copy of Intruder in the Dust is included in the exhibit that’s signed by the entire cast of the movie. Other cases focus on Faulkner’s lesser-known but still popular works, including Idyll in the Desert and Miss Zilphia Grant. Cases are ordered chronologically, starting with those in the center of the room.
All exhibited writings are first editions of Faulkner’s most popular books and short stories, including some lesser-known works and a handwritten copy of his first play, The Marionettes. The exhibit also includes several drawings by Faulkner included as illustrations in the book.
Complementary items that tell the story of Faulkner’s life are included, such as photos, samples of his handwriting and correspondence, and memorabilia for movies based on his books, according to Jennifer Ford, the head of Special Collections and associate professor.
Each major exhibit is several months in the planning and execution, including selection of materials, writing and editing, and completing preservation mounting for artifacts.
A handwritten copy of The Marionettes includes Faulkner's own drawings.
A handwritten copy of The Marionettes includes Faulkner’s own drawings.

Prints (16 inches by 20 inches) of the Faulkner portraits on the walls are for sale, for $200 each, and requests can be made at the Archives Reference desk. The photos were taken by “Colonel” J.R. Cofield, Faulkner’s personal photographer, and also by Martin Dain.
The exhibit will continue through Dec. 12. Special Collections at the university is normally open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, but will be open late tonight for the exhibit’s first evening.
William Faulkner's handwriting from The Marionettes; much of his other handwriting in the exhibit in so tightly spaced that it resembles hieroglyphics.
William Faulkner’s handwriting from The Marionettes; much of his other handwriting in the exhibit in so tightly spaced that it resembles hieroglyphics.

One of Faulkner's three drawings on display from The Marionettes.
One of Faulkner’s three drawings on display from The Marionettes.

Each case includes artifacts from Faulkner's life regarding a particular book, such as these tickets to the Intruder in the Dust movie that premiered at the Lyric Theater.
Each case includes artifacts from Faulkner’s life regarding a particular book, such as these tickets to the Intruder in the Dust movie that premiered at the Lyric Theater. More than 30 of Faulkner’s works are on exhibit.

Gretchen Stone is HottyToddy.com associate editor. Gretchen can be contacted about this story at Gretchen.Stone@HottyToddy.com

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