Friday, February 12, 2010

Faulkner novel linked to plantation diary

In William Faulkner’s 1942 novel “Go Down, Moses” the climactic end comes when Isaac McCaslin finally decides to open his grandfather’s farm ledgers with their “scarred and cracked backs” and “yellowed pages scrawled in fading ink” — all proof of his family’s slave-owning past. Now, what appears to be the document on which Faulkner modeled that ledger as well as the source for myriad names, incidents and details that populate his fictionalized Yoknapatawpha County has been discovered.

Patricia Cohen of the New York Times has a fascinating article detailing the discovery and its impact on Faulkner scholarship.

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