|1-1.||Ole Miss 1917 Annual (1918)||first printing||(VG)||2,000.00|
In lists of Faulkner books The Marble Faun always comes first. If the intent is to list books entirely devoted to Faulkner material this is correct, but if one includes books containing Faulkner contributions then five University of Mississippi yearbooks predate that volume of poetry, with this one being the second.
Many critics and bibliographers dismiss what Faulkner did while at Ole Miss as "appreticeship" work. Admittedly, graphic arts in particular and undirected literary creations bear little resemblance to the masterful prose that would come later. But that prose did not emerge from a vacuum - its seeds lay in what came before. In those early creations are clues or at least links to the ideas that would inform Faulkner's strongest output. If you want to know the adult you must know the child.
More difficult to answer is why anyone should pay the cost of a decent used car for a book containing but two drawings, which is all of Faulkner to be found in this volume. Because one attempting to compile a defining collection of Faulkner will need something out of the ordinary to provide definition; because to get the full meaning of the early materials one needs the complete context that at minimum requires the entire book including those materials; and because as more people want desirable Faulkner and Ole Miss materials the prices are increasing.
|1-2.||The Marble Faun (1924)||a) first printing of the 1965 joint edition with A Green Bough||(F/VG)||125.00|
|b) second printing of the 1965 joint edition||(VG/ VG minus)||65.00|
The original edition of The Marble Faun sold few copies, as might be expected of a first book and poetry at that. Frequently, the unsold books abandoned in a warehouse get brought out when an author becomes popular. In this case, the warehouse burned down, taking with it virtually the entire printing of the book, and eighty years later considerably fewer than few copies still exist. Original editions of The Marble Faun still command five thousand dollars even missing the dust jacket and covers. A copy in nice shape would be a steal at thirty thousand dollars.
The 1965 joint edition went through a small number of printings and then disappeared itself. Today neither book of poetry intended for publication by the man who wanted to be a poet is in print.
|1-3.||Soldiers' Pay (1926)|
The publishing history of Faulkner's first two novels has the complexity of a Faulkner plot. Francis Bosha's Faulkner's Soldiers' Pay: A Bibliographic History provides the best insight I know of; and because the publishing histories for both titles seem to be almost exactly parallel I have applied Bosha's information on the one title to the other. I have concerns that Bosha's information is not entirely accurate, but with that warning and my own adjustments here is the publishing history as I understand it of the hardbound editions of the two titles.
Boni and Liveright issued two printings of Soldiers' Pay and one printing of Mosquitoes. The firm went through a reorganization and the 1931 third printing of Soldiers' Pay and second printing of Mosquitoes were credited to Horace Liveright. The titles were then licensed to Sun Dial Press, who issued several printings of the books (all of which are indistinguishable from each other). Liveright Publishing Company (LPC) got the titles back and issued a "New Edition" for both, with reviews of Soldiers' Pay on the back of the dust jackets. Bosha dates these at 1950, I believe them to be older. In the mid-1950s LPC issued new New Editions for both titles. Initially the dust jackets for both listed "Unusual Books" on the backs, and then sometime in the mid or late 1960s the back of the jackets was redesigned to promote "The Genius of George Moore." (The books, however, remained unchanged from the 1950s.)
This is where it gets interesting. I have a hardbound edition of Soldiers' Pay from the 1970s (my estimate) that is described as a second printing of the 1954 edition but that is in fact an entirely new book in a (finally) completely redesigned dust jacket; and a hardbound edition of Mosquitoes from the 1980s (my estimate) in a differently redesigned jacket that is not described as anything. Both are credited to Liveright: not Liveright Publishing; not Horace Liveright; just Liveright. Both bear official book catalog numbers, and an internet search of the numbers leads to W.W. Norton Publishing Company. LPC was acquired by W.W. Norton, who has issued softbound editions of both titles under the Liveright imprint. However, according to Norton those paperbacks are the only editions issued by the company since the mid-50s. In a conversation with customer service Norton seemed unaware that later hardbound editions had ever been issued by them. I have seen very few copies of either of these later hardbound editions. I am becoming very curious.
It should be noted that the 1970s was not the first time that a Liveright-related firm showed a lack of clarity about the terms "edition" and "printing": the second printing of Soldiers' Pay was described by B&L as the second "edition."
B&L is responsible for most of the scarcest commercially-issued Faulkner materials. All Liveright-related reprint editions of Mosquitoes through the 1960s appear in a dust jacket showing people playing cards on a yacht. Most of the first printings were issued in a jacket with a mosquito design. A very few copies - probably no more than ten, maybe fewer - of the B&L first printing were produced with a "Yachting Party" jacket. The Yachting Party first printing jacket is extraordinarily scarce. The first printing jacket for Soldiers' Pay is nearly as scarce - many were produced but few have survived. Even rarer is the second printing dust jacket for that title - I know of only one copy. I have heard of a different jacket for the third printing of Soldiers' Pay but have never seen one.
Both titles bounced around from softbound publisher to softbound publisher. Some of the softbound editions are quite attractive; except for the first Avon printing of Mosquitoes all of the American softbound editions are common.
|a) first printing||(some lettering off spine, hinges starting to break, else VG/none)||450.00|
|I may as well get this out of the way early. Whenever possible it is better to have books with dust jackets than books without dust jackets. Really much much better. I'd go so far as to say that it may be better to have one book in a nice dust jacket than ten nice books in no dust jacket. But the catch is "whenever possible," and money being what it is one can not always afford Faulkner titles in the original dust jacket. For instance, I'll advise you that copies of Soldiers' Pay in torn and tattered original dust jackets regularly sell at auction for eight thousand dollars (when they turn up at all). A copy in a nice jacket would be bargain priced at thirty thousand dollars. If that is within your means you probably have no interest in jacketless copies. If not, particularly for Soldiers' Pay and a few other titles your choice might not be between a copy in a dust jacket and a copy without a dust jacket, but a copy without a dust jacket and no copy at all. Keep that in mind as you gasp at the prices on my jacket-less first editions. Please don't yell at me, I don't set the market prices, I'm just the bearer of the bad news.|
|b) 1954 Liveright Publishing edition||(F minus/VG plus)||60.00|
|c) 1960s Liveright Publishing edition||(F minus/VG plus)||50.00|
|d) first paperback printing (Signet 887, 1951)||(VG, though getting brittle)||15.00|
|e) first English edition (1930)||(VG/none)||150.00|
|The first Faulkner title published outside the US. For a reason not known to me Mosquitoes, the next book Faulkner wrote, was not published in the UK until 1964.|
|f) first English paperback edition (1938)||(VG/G plus plus - repairs with archival tape inside jacket)||50.00|
|The first paperback from an English-speaking country, predating the first American paperback edition of Soldiers' Pay by 13 years and predating the first American paperback edition of any Faulkner title by 4 years. In addition, this is a very uncommon Anglo paperback that came with a dust jacket. It is difficult to find this with its jacket.|
|g) Brazilian edition, hardbound in faux leather with bound-in cloth bookmark, in Portuguese.||(NF - bump in pages in back)||25.00|
|1-4.||Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles (1926)||first printing, #141 of 250||(G)||1,200.00|
|In between the books he published for money was this book of portraits by William Spratling, arranged, introduced and captioned by that other William. How important this is to your collection or appreciation of Faulkner you will have to decide for yourself. This copy is good only - the paper is off the spine, the front hinge is cracked, the rear hinge following suit, the back cover discolored. But this is quite scarce, which compensates for many faults.|
See the publishing history at the Soldiers' Pay entry above.
|a) first printing||(F minus/none)||300.00|
|b) second printing||(VG minus minus/none)||75.00|
|Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades, right? It depends. If you are collecting books for the pleasure of collecting you need a first printing or as close to it as you can get, and second might not be good enough. If you are doing research you need a first edition, and in almost every case any printing of the first edition will do. In all instances in this catalog unless I say otherwise the text and text layout of an offered later printing are identical to those of the first, meaning that citations will be the same. First editions of Faulkner books are expensive, and if I were doing Faulkner research I would save money by getting a later printing of the first edition.|
|c) 1937 Sun Dial edition||(VG/none)||20.00|
|d) 1960s Liveright Publishing edition||(VG/VG)||50.00|
|e) Facsimile and Transcription of the University of Virginia Holograph Manuscript (1997)||(one spot on cover, else F/ none, as published)||60.00|
|f) first paperback printing, with 12 titles advertised on the back||(lamination peeling, otherwise VG plus)||60.00|
|g) first paperback printing, with 16 titles advertised on the back||(VG minus)||30.00|
|This 1942 edition is the first American paperback edition of any Faulkner title. One wonders why, since paperback editions had been available in England and France for years. Perhaps Americans are better at writing than at publishing. But to its credit Avon did the job right, giving the book arguably the most striking cover art on any American Faulkner edition. The Peterson bibliographies (items 15-10 through 15-12) includes copies with 16 and 19 titles listed but not one with 12, presumably an earlier printing.|
|h) second paperback printing, with different (less) lurid cover (Dell 708)||(VG)||12.00|
|1-6.||Sartoris (1929)||a) first printing||(XL, VG minus minus/none)||225.00|
This is a book that makes one examine - or should make one examine - what and why one is collecting. This is not a book by Faulkner. It is a book by Faulkner after it has been worked on by butchers posing as editors and publishers. With over a third of Faulkner's words removed one may as well buy a Reader's Digest Condensed Novel. If what you want is Faulkner's version you need Flags In the Dust.
On the other hand this was the first time Yoknapatawpha County was offered to the public. For that reason alone this is an important book. It's also a difficult book to find. Ex-library is not preferred, but as with other early Faulkner titles a compromise in condition may be acceptable and necessary.
The publishing history suggests that publishers and readers alike did not know what to make of Faulkner's postage stamp of native soil. Sartoris was publisher Harcourt Brace's only Faulkner title and it did not sell. When Sanctuary did sell, making Faulkner a hot item for five minutes, Harcourt Brace would not reissue their book themselves but in 1933 licensed the rights to reprint publisher Grosset and Dunlop. The book did not sell for them either, and for the next 18 years Sartoris was out of print, with not even a paperback edition to tempt the curious. But hope springs eternal, and when Faulkner won the Nobel Prize Harcourt Brace published a new edition in 1951. Which also did not sell. Leading HB to finally sell off the hardbound rights to Random House, who (hope springs eternal) tried yet another hardbound edition in the 1960s which did not sell, and then finally in 1973 published Flags In the Dust, the book Faulkner actually wrote.
|b) 1951 Harcourt Brace edition||(F minus/VG minus)||45.00|
|c) 1961 Random House edition||(REM, F/VG minus minus)||20.00|
|d) first paperback printing (Signet S1032, 1953)||(VG)||10.00|
|e) first English edition (1932)||(VG/spine chipped)||500.00|
|f) German hardbound edition (1998)||(F/VG)||10.00|
|This volume is part of a uniform edition published by Verlag Volk und Welt.|
|1-7.||The Sound and the Fury (1929)||a) first printing in second state jacket||(cloth rough at top and bottom of spine, though all lettering is present and clear; light stain on front board; corners rounded; hinges and contents are very good - a nice copy/ some big closed tears but little paper loss)||5,000.00|
|The dust jacket for The Sound and the Fury changed while the first printing was still being sold. The first state of the jacket has Humanity Uprooted on the back panel priced at $3.00; the second state has that title priced at $3.50. Both jackets were used for the first printing of the Faulkner book. Generally speaking, collectors prefer first state jackets for thier first printing books. Consequently, first state jackets are more expensive. For some books the price difference is relatively small, so it is not difficult to get the earlier jacket. With The Sound and the Fury, however, all jackets are scarece and very expensive. If you have $15,000 to invest in this title then you can hold out for a first state jacket. If not, you may need join the majority of collectors - myself included - happy to have any original jacket for The Sound and the Fury.|
|b) second printing (February 1931)||(VG minus/ none)||250.00|
|c) third printing (November 1931)||(VG minus/ none)||200.00|
|See note at item 1-5(b) for information on later printings generally. |
The Sound and the Fury is not just the rarest first printing of the Faulkner major works, it is also the most difficult title to get in even a later printing of the first edition. Second and third printings of other works are relatively easy to come by - not so this one. At the time that I write this I know of only three copies from the entire first edition priced at under $1,000.00. In light of this cost, an ex-library copy in a replacement library binding might not be so bad after all. And a second printing, with the same decorative binding and endpapers as the first, might be an acceptable substitute for a first printing, prices for which start at $1,250 without dust jacket and quickly climb to several times that amount.
|d) 1992 Modern Library edition, first printing thus||(F/F)||10.00|
|e) Franklin Library cloth edition||(F/none, as issued)||20.00|
|f) first English edition, later state with beige cloth and four advertising leaves from 1935 in the rear||(VG/none)||100.00|
|The complete printing history of early English editions of Faulkner titles might never be known. Evidence suggests that Chatto and Windus, Faulkner's English publisher, chose a binding color for the first state of a title, and thereafter binding colors changed seemingly randomly. C&W also sometimes inserted ads for other titles in the backs of some editions but not all. My own belief, based on study of the published bibliographies and examination of books, is that as with binding colors the publisher updated ad inserts and inserted them as it felt like it. There is no good record of the various ad configurations that can be found with any given title, and while dating the ads can give approximate dates for the bindings assigning priority to one color over another is frequently more guess than science. What this means for the collector is that there may be certainty about getting an English first issue, but little certainty of the state number after that. You pays your money and you takes your chances.
Because in some cases there are gaps of years between an early ad configuration and a later configuration it is not just the state that is brought into question, but the printing number as well. If all copies of the text block had been printed at one time and then bound as needed all copies could be said to be of the same printing. However, if the publisher printed copies as needed then copies with later ad configurations would be subsequent printings, whether or not a statement to that effect appears in the book. First editions yes, but possibly second or third printing. A nightmare for collectors. If there is any consolation it is that all copies of Chatto and Windus editions of early Faulkner titles are scarce, and therefore worthy of being in a collection.
For a report on a more complete examination of English editions see Meriwether, The Literary Career of William Faulkner (item 15-4 ).
As for The Sound and the Fury we know that the first state of this edition appeared in 1931 with black cloth covers and top edge stained red. We know that still within the first edition the black cloth was replaced by beige and the staining was left off the top edge. There is consensus that the first appearance of this second binding included two leaves of advertisements in the rear. After that you (we) are on our own.
|g) French hardbound edition (1973) in two volumes, with full page color plates by Tim||(both volumes F but for some foxing/none, as published)||35.00|
|The second volume also contains the complete As I Lay Dying with full page color plates by Agathe Lemaire. These volumes are part of a uniform set handsomely bound in faux leather with gilt decoration. Other volumes include Intruder In the Dust, Knight's Gambit, and Requiem For a Nun.|
|h) first Israeli edition||(VG minus/VG minus)||40.00|
|i) an electronic edition for a Macintosh computer (1992)||(F - I think. I do not know if anything is missing from the package.)||15.00|
|A very early ebook, on a floppy disc, in an illustrated cardboard sleeve. The Voyager Company, who made this, seems to be no longer in business, and I can not find another copy for sale. A tremendously obscure Faulkner edition for the Faulkner completest.|
|j) See also items 1-24, items 11-41 through 11-47, and item 13-13.|
|1-8.||As I Lay Dying (1930)|
In the normal course of a book's published life it goes through a few printings of the first edition; shortly thereafter the original publisher or a reprint publisher brings out a new edition or two; and there are a run of paperbacks. There were two printings of the first edition of As I Lay Dying in the early 1930s and then the book lay dying. The Modern Library, a low-cost (but well produced) series, made most of Faulkner's best work available during years when no other editions were, but the 1946 edition of Dying was an omnibus with The Sound and the Fury - AILD did not rate its own Modern Library edition until 1967. The first paperback edition did not appear until 1964; the first "new" hardbound edition not until that same year. Before that was only a book club release in the late 1950s. A strange neglect, considering how important the book is seen today.
|a) first state, with dropped "I" on page eleven||(spine badly sunned, some tears on spine and along front hinge, edges of covers worn, otherwise VG/1" by 1/2" chip on front panel, else better than VG)||3,500.00|
|b) first Modern Library printing||(VG/VG)||10.00|
|c) First Edition Library edition||(VG/VG slipcase)||50.00|
|The First Edition Library appeared in the 1990s, offering almost perfect copies of the first edition book and dust jacket of many titles, with a slipcase created for each volume. Though not "collectible" an FEL copy shows us what a first edition copy looks like, and may be the nicest copy resembling the first edition most of us will ever own. A true first edition of As I Lay Dying in a dust jacket in this condition might cost $10,000, if one could be found at all.|
|d) See also item 1-7(g), item 1-55, item 1-56, and item 13-12..|
|1-9.||Sanctuary (1931)||a) first printing||(VG/Fair - there are extensive tears and extensive repairs with clear tape inside the jacket, some of which have darkened. It is substantially complete.)||1,500.00|
|This jacket is unquestionably one of the most difficult to find in any condition - only The Marble Faun, Soldiers' Pay, Sartoris and The Sound and the Fury are rarer. While it is always more satisfying to have a nice jacket the cost of early Faulkner titles may force collectors on a budget to choose between a flawed copy and none.|
|b) first printing||(VG minus/none)||150.00|
|c) third printing (February 1931)||(G minus/none)||50.00|
|d) Grosset & Dunlap edition (around 1946)||(F/G plus)||50.00|
|Another odd chapter in publishing history. As recited in my comments on Sartoris above (item 5) reprint publisher Grosset and Dunlap entered the Faulkner sweepstakes with the neglected and rejected Sartoris, presumably because Sanctuary had whetted the public's appetite for Faulkner and G&D settled for what it could get when it could not strike a deal for Sanctuary itself. I understand the desire to get a piece of this action in the 1930s; I do not understand a reprint edition in the mid 1940s, when Faulkner and Sanctuary were both little more than answers to trivia questions. What it lacked in timing G&D made up for in creativity, packaging this edition in what I consider the most striking American Faulkner dust jacket.|
|e) The Original Text edition, first printing thus||(F/VG)||30.00|
|f) book club edition (1997)||(F/F)||8.00|
|g) first paperback printing (1947)||(VG)||10.00|
|h) first joint paperback printing with Requiem For a Nun (1954)||(VG)||10.00|
|i) first English edition (1931)||(VG/none)||100.00|
|j) Crosby Continental Editions, Paris (1932):|
text in English
This is the first paperback edition of any Faulkner title. Paperbacks as mass-market publications were still in the beginning stages in the early 1930s but they were not unknown, and it strikes me as peculiar that not even the scandal-driven success of Sanctuary inspired an American or English publisher to issue a low-priced copy that might be purchased by people wondering what the fuss was about and who did not have the habit of spending money on books. Smith and Haas, the successor to Cape and Smith, did issue a pocket-sized hardback edition in 1931, and the pocket-sized Modern Library edition appeared in 1932 but the latter sold for 95 cents and the former would have been at least that while paperbacks were available for a quarter or less. Only in France could a reader buy a bargain-priced softbound copy. And "only in France" it was - this edition could not be introduced into the British Empire or USA.
Which in turn raises the question: if this could not be imported to the English-speaking world for whom was this produced? Certainly there were many French people who could read English - were there enough to justify the expense of a book production? France was where James Joyce's Ulysses had been first published when it was banned in the US and England, but Sanctuary was never suppressed, there was not the same "need." It seems even less likely that there were enough English-speakers in Sweden in 1947 to support an English-language edition there with the same prohibitions against importation to the US or UK. Foreign editions in English are uncommon, for obvious reasons. What made Crosby and later Zephyr risk the expense?
|k) See also item 1-56 and items 11-33 through 11-40 and 11-48.|
|1-10.||These 13 (1931)||a) first printing in first state dust jacket||(VG/VG)||1,000.00|
|b) first printing in second state dust jacket||(VG/VG minus)||300.00|
|c) second printing (September 1931) :|
See note at item 1-5(b) for information on later printings.
|d) third printing (October 1931)||(F/VG)||150.00|
|e) first English printing (1933)||( VG/spine badly sunned, chipped at top and bottom of spine, otherwise VG minus)||150.00|
|English editions published before 1945 are, with few exceptions, more difficult to get than are American editions. This title, for instance, is uncommon even without dust jacket, scarce with a jacket in any condition. One seeking a complete collection of English first editions will need either great patience or a willingness to compromise on condition.|
|1-11.||Idyll In the Desert (1931)||#76 of 400 signed copies||(The paper is chipping off the spine, causing hinge structural weakness; otherwise VG/ published without jacket)||1,200.00|
A limited edition of 525, a jacket-less book in a fragile slipcase, consisting of prose and poetry reprints from The Double Dealer and one Hemingway poem. According to publisher Paul Romaine the project started with a night of drinking inspiring him to write to Faulkner, leading, when he was sober, to a more productive correspondence. Unfortunately, the signed edition Romaine hoped for, even promoted, never was realized. Hemingway's poem was obtained for no more than $15.00.
By my records this was the third time the two lions of 20th century American letters appeared in a volume together. My congratulations to anyone who can name the other two. My deep, serious appreciation to anyone who can identify one I don't know about.
|a) This copy has an inscription from Romaine discussing his friendship with Faulkner and Hemingway. Unfortunately, it also has a bad attempt (fake) at a Faulkner signature, not an improvement.||(VG minus/G minus)||800.00|
|b) uninscribed copy||(VG/VG)||600.00|
|1-13.||Light In August (1932)||a) first printing||(F/F minus)||2,500.00|
|There is a 1/8" chip in the top edge of the back panel of the dust jacket; some other light edge wear. Overall one of the nicest copies one is likely to find.|
|b) fourth printing, Smith and Haas edition||(VG minus/none)||30.00|
|c) fourth printing, Random House edition||(G plus plus/none)||20.00|
|When it was time to issue a fourth printing Faulkner was represented by Smith and Haas, and that firm had the book pages printed. Around 1936 some firm members joined the fledgling Random House, taking Faulkner's contract with them. The Smith and Haas pages that had not yet been bound were put into a Random House binding. The RH/S&H hybrid is apparently quite scarce. But yes, the fourth printing of the first edition is available from two different publishers, and both are fourth printings of the first edition.|
|d)unabridged audio book on cassettes||(VG)||15.00|
|e) first English edition (1933)||(G/G)||200.00|
|f) See also item 1-56 and item 13-13.|
|1-14.||This Earth (1932)||A booklet from the Equinox Press, the only edition.||(F, in an added cloth slipcase)||250.00|
|1-15.||A Green Bough (1933)||a) #155 of 360 signed copies||(VG)||2,200.00|
|b) first printing||(VG/ VG minus)||500.00|
|c) second printing||(VG/P)||100.00|
|d) first French edition, fifth printing, softbound original||(VG)||15.00|
|e) See also item 1-2 and item 1-66.|
|1-16.||Doctor Martino (1934)||a) #29 of 360 signed copies||(F minus/none, as issued)||1,800.00|
|b) first printing||(F minus/ Good)||500.00|
|1-17.||Pylon (1935)||a) first printing||(VG/VG)||700.00|
|b) second printing||(XL, VG/VG minus)||40.00|
|c) 1962 "uniform" edition||(VG/VG minus)||15.00|
Since this is "reproduced photographically from a copy of the first printing" this is good substitute for the original. The dust jacket and binding are different from those of the first edition.
|d) first Modern Library printing (1967)||(VG/VG)||10.00|
|e) first paperback printing (Signet 863, 1951)||(VG)||12.00|
|f) first English edition, first state (1935)||(VG/VG minus)||300.00|
|g) first Spanish edition, second printing (1956)||(VG/VG)||25.00|
|h) See also item 1-56 and items 11-49 through 11-53.|
|1-18.||Absalom, Absalom! (1936)|
I mentioned above the strange publishing neglect enjoyed by As I Lay Dying. The other Faulkner title to be similarly mistreated was Absalom, Absalom!. The book was successful enough to warrant three printings of the first edition in 1936. Thereafter, however, only the Modern Library was interested in the title (1951) until the Faulkner uniform new edition in 1966 and first paperback in 1967. As I Lay Dying at least had a book club release in the 1950s: AA did not rate that. A truly bizarre publishing history.
Though no other Faulkner title was treated so roughly other titles were surprisingly deemed unworthy of early paperback editions: Light In August did not come out in wrappers until 1965; Go Down Moses not until 1973. Almost the entire central Faulkner canon was unavailable in paperback until after his death.
|a) first printing||(VG/VG minus)||1,200.00|
|b) third printing||(binding P, contents VG minus/none)||40.00|
|c) First Edition Library edition:|
See note at 1-8(d) above for information about this edition.
|d) first paperback edition||(VG)||10.00|
|e) first English edition||(VG/none)||100.00|
Absalom, Absalom! and The Unvanquished were published in the UK in a "Transmatic" dust jacket - paper flaps attached to a clear plastic wrapper that covered the front, back and spine. The plastic was brittle; the glue attaching the paper poor. Consequently, few jackets remain intact; and because it was commonly thought that the loose paper flaps had been cut off a full paper jacket and so worthless and discarded when found it is not easy to find a jacket even in pieces. The English jackets for these titles are considerably scarcer than the American jackets. They might be even scarcer than the jacket for the first American Soldiers' Pay. For no good reason even jacketless copies are uncommon.
|h) See also item 13-11.|
|1-19.||The Unvanquished (1938)||a) first printing||(VG/VG minus)||800.00|
|b) second printing||(VG/VG minus minus)||100.00|
|c) first paperback printing (Signet 971, 1952)||(VG)||10.00|
|d) first English printing (1938)||(XL, G plus/ none)||50.00|
See note at the English edition of Absalom, Absalom! above.
|e) first English paperback printing (Penguin 1058)||(F)||10.00|
|f) Israeli edition (Am Oved Publishers, 1964):|
I believe that this softbound edition is the first time that The Unvanquished was published in Israel
|g) German hardbound edition (1998)||(F/VG)||10.00|
|This volume is part of a uniform edition published by Verlag Volk und Welt.|
|1-20.||The Wild Palms (1939)||a) softbound advance edition||(VG minus - see note below)||1,300.00|
A softbound advance edition is not a trade paperback edition, nor is it the same as a hardbound review copy, but a soft cover pre-publication edition. There are two schools of thought about editions predating "official" publications. Some people collect only true first editions or limited editions. My opinion, which I have applied to my own collecting, is that advance copies, be they uncorrected proofs or advance reading copies, are bibliographically significant. They document the changes a book goes through both textually and aesthetically in preparation for publication; and the existence of advance copies says something about the author's place in the public eye and publishing hierarchy - the kind of attention an author gets or does not get. Advance copies are also significantly scarcer than first editions - first printings are typically several thousand copies; advance editions might not have several dozen copies! The softbound advance edition of The Wild Palms is the most common of the advance copies of books published during Faulkner's lifetime, with a market appearance rate of perhaps one a year. Making this one of the scarcer as-issued Faulkner publications to appear on the market. Any other softbound advance edition I am fortunate enough to be able to offer for sale is likely even scarcer.
This copy has a dampstain on the page edges. Of more note is a pencil sketch filling the front free end page. My seller identifies the artist as George Little, an African-American doctor who lived in Homestead, PA (near Pittsburgh) until 1950. Whether this adds to value I don't know.
|b) #240 of 250 signed copies||(VG/none as published)||2,500.00|
|c) first printing||(VG/VG)||800.00|
|d) first printing||(X-personal lending library, G plus/none)||40.00|
|e) first paperback printing of The Wild Palms (Penguin 659, 1948)||(F)||15.00|
|f) first paperback printing of The Old Man (Signet 692, 1948)||(VG)||10.00|
|g) first joint paperback printing of The Old Man and Wild Palms together (Signet S1148, 1954)||(VG minus)||10.00|
A lesson, if one were needed, of how little clout Faulkner had at this time. Not only could he not get his book published with the title he wanted (If I Forget Thee Jerusalem), no single paperback publisher was initially willing to release the full text or even both sections - Signet and Penguin split the book as it were a spoil of war. Not until six years after sections had been published separately did the full text of Wild Palms (sic) get a paperback release.
|h) first English edition (1939)||(front free-end page missing, foxing/none)||75.00|
|i) English language softbound edition in a dust jacket, from Zephyr Books, Sweden. Second printing (1947)||(G/G)||15.00|
|j) See also item 1-24, item 11-18, and item 13-12.|
|1-21.||The Hamlet (1940)||a) first printing||(VG/VG minus)||500.00|
|b) first printing in a second state dust jacket||(VG minus/VG minus minus)||250.00|
|c) second printing:|
See note at item 1-5(b) for information on later printings.
|d) first paperback edition||(VG)||10.00|
|e) The Long Hot Summer: First separate printing of this section of the novel. This paperback original contains photos of the movie.||(VG)||10.00|
|f) German hardbound edition translated by Helmut M Braem and Elisabeth Kaiser (1960)||(VG/none)||10.00|
|f) See also item 1-41 and items 11-7 through 11-17.|
|1-22.||Go Down Moses (1942)|
If the paperback publishers did not respect Faulkner (see my notes on Intruder In the Dust and Wild Palms) Random House did. The first printing identified this as Go Down Moses and Other Stories; thereafter, at Faulkner's insistence "and Other Stories" was dropped, never to appear again. Similarly, Faulkner's anthology was first issued in 1948 as The Collected Stories. In accordance with Faulkner's wishes the "The" was dropped from the spine for all other editions and printings.
|a) first printing, black binding||(VG/VG minus minus)||700.00|
|b) first printing, variant light blue binding||
(VG/VG minus minus)||700.00|
|c) first printing, variant beige binding||
(VG/VG minus minus)||1,000.00|
Though the black binding is considered the first state of the first edition and therefore the true first edition, at least eight other colored bindings were also used for the first printings and are much, much scarcer than the black. Much. The beige is one of the scarcest. A collector looking for interesting items should seriously consider trying to get the variant first printing bindings of this title.
|d) second printing||(VG/VG minus)||40.00|
|e) first Modern Library edition||(VG/G)||20.00|
|f) leather-bound Southern Classics Library edition||(F/ none, as published)||40.00|
|g) German hardbound edition titled Der Bar (1998)||(VG/VG)||10.00|
|This volume, part of a uniform edition published by Verlag Volk und Welt, is listed here for lack of a better place to put it. The nine stories in German translation include five-sevenths of Go Down Moses, omitting "Was" and "The Old People," plus "A Bear Hunt" and "Race At Morning" from Big Woods, "Shingles For the Lord" and "The Tall Men".|
|1-23.||A Rose For Emily and Other Stories (1945)||a) paperback original; first state||(VG)||200.00|
This uncommon book, published by Armed Services Editions during the Second World War, is almost always found in the second state, with the back of the title page nearly blank. Considerably harder to find are first state copies, with a map on that page. The map is for a different book (The Indigo Necklace by Frances Crane) and appeared in some copies of this book due to a printing error.
|b) paperback original; second state||(VG)||100.00|
|1-24.||The Portable Faulkner (1946):|
"The Old Man," stories, and excerpts of novels.
|a) first edition||(VG/none)||15.00|
The book that saved Faulkner's career. The jacket for the first printing is hard to find. Even most dealers don't know that the front flap should be not just one layer but three layers with advertisements for other books, and so substitute a jacket from a later printing. And even readers who saved jackets did not think to save the parts of the jacket that are just advertisements and tore off the extra flaps. So you need to be very careful when buying a first "in jacket" that you are getting the correct jacket.
|b) The Indispensable Faulkner version from the Book Society||(VG minus, in G slipcase, without dustjacket, as issued)||10.00|
|1-25.||Intruder In the Dust (1948)||a) first printing||(VG/VG minus)||150.00|
|b) second printing |
See note at item 1-5(b) for information on later printings.
|c) first paperback printing (1949)||(VG)||15.00|
By the time this paperback edition came out William Faulkner had written 17 books and gained an international reputation. One would think that someone would have noticed before this hit the bookstore shelves that the photo on the back was not of William but of William's brother John. And if everyone in the book industry had happened to be on vacation at the same time and so not seen the mistake early that someone might have suggested that the photo get fixed before the second printing. That the wrong photo remained on this edition through three printings argues that for all his success elsewhere Faulkner was still a stranger in his own land. This is the biggest bumble in Faulkner publishing.
|d) first UK paperback printing (1960)||(VG)||10.00|
|e) French hardbound edition (1973), with full page color plates by Chabrier||(F but for some foxing/none, as published)||20.00|
|This volume is part of a uniform set handsomely bound in faux leather with gilt decoration. Other volumes include The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Knight's Gambit, and Requiem For a Nun.|
|f) See also item 1-57, and item 11-6.|
|1-26.||Collected Stories (1948)||a) first printing||(VG/none)||40.00|
This is one of the titles with a very high rate of false positives for first edition. The spine of the true first edition says "The Collected Stories" as if this were the definitive or only possible collection. When Faulkner objected the "THE" was removed from all subsequent printings. Copies that say "first printing" on the copyright page but do not have THE on the spine are book club issues. Those copies also have the book club indentation on the back cover, clearly marking a book club copy, but sloppy sellers frequently overlook that.
|b) first Icelandic edition of a Faulkner anthology, with seven stories (1956)||(VG/none)||30.00|
|1-27.||Knight's Gambit (1949)||a) first printing||(VG/VG minus)||150.00|
|b) third printing||(XL, VG/VG)||15.00|
|c) first paperback printing||(VG)||10.00|
|d) French hardbound edition (1973), with full page color plates by Marie-Odile Souchard||(F but for some foxing/none, as published)||20.00|
|This volume is part of a uniform set handsomely bound in faux leather with gilt decoration. Other volumes include The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Intruder In the Dust, and Requiem For a Nun.|
|1-28.||Notes On a Horsethief (1950)||#675 of 975 signed copies||(VG (name in front, dot on title page)/ none, as issued)||1,200.00|
|1-29.||Requiem For a Nun (1951)||a) #479 of 750 signed copies||(F/ none, as issued)||1,800.00|
|b) first printing, review copy, with review slip||(F/F minus)||250.00|
|c) first printing||(F/ VG minus)||150.00|
|d) softbound uncorrected proof for first English edition||(VG minus)||500.00|
See the note to item 1-19(a) above.
|e) first English edition||(VG/VG minus)||80.00|
|f) French hardbound edition (1973), with full page color plates by Agata Preyzner||(F but for some foxing/none, as published)||20.00|
|This volume is part of a uniform set handsomely bound in faux leather with gilt decoration. Other volumes include The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Knight's Gambit, and Intruder In the Dust.|
|g) See also item 1-9(h), item 1-37, item 6-27, item 6-37, and items 12-2 through 12-9.|
|1-30.||The Faulkner Reader (1954)||first Modern Library Giant printing (1959)||(F/VG)||20.00|
Contains The Nobel Prize Address; the complete The Sound and the Fury; excerpts from several novels; and many stories.
|1-31.||New Orleans Sketches|
In 1925 Faulkner contributed a series of sketches to the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper and the Double Dealer magazine. The sketches remained in obscurity until Faulkner Studies in Minneapolis, Minnesota published eleven of them in a 1953 limited edition titled Mirrors of Chartres Street. The first book called New Orleans Sketches was published by the Hokuseido Press in Japan in 1955, with 13 sketches in English. Later that year Faulkner Studies published Jealousy and Episode, containing the two sketches published by Hokuseido but omitted from Mirrors, representing the first US book publication of those two stories. Three years later the Rutgers University Press issued its own New Orleans Sketches, with 16 sketches. The Grove Press/ Evergreen released a softbound version of the Rutgers volume in 1961; and Random House reissued the Rutgers volume in hardback in 1968, with an updated introduction and an additional Faulkner essay. What is the true first edition? Obviously the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper and the Double Dealer magazine appearances, but for reasons I do not understand only books are considered first editions, and anyway these magazines and newspapers are virtually-to-definitely impossible to obtain. All but the Grove Press edition offer the first book appearance of something. Thus, one could cite the volume that first published the piece in consideration; or the volume that first published all the pieces being studied; or the Hokuseido Press volume, the first to be titled New Orleans Sketches. Scholars (and obsessed collectors) should have all the significant editions.
|a) Mirrors of Chartres Street, #307 of 1000||(VG/ VG minus minus)||150.00|
|b) Hokuseido Press hardbound edition||(dampstaining to a few pages, otherwise VG/ dampstained, otherwise VG)||100.00|
|c) Hokuseido Press softbound edition, pink covers||(F)||60.00|
As if the publishing history were not confusing enough the Hokuseido Press itself offers options to the collector. The hardbound edition may be the first printing - or may not. The book also appeared in at least two softbound versions. There is no certainty about which came first. The hardbound is the least common.
|d) Jealousy and Episode, #458 of 500||(VG plus - bookplate)||200.00|
|e) See also item 6-28 and item 13-20.|
|1-32.||A Fable (1954)||a) #117 of 1000 signed copies||(F in chipped original glassine wrapper in F original slipcase)||1,800.00|
|b) first printing||(VG/VG minus)||90.00|
|c) first Modern Library printing||(F/VG)||15.00|
|d) first English printing||(VG/VG minus)||30.00|
|e) See also item 6-38 and item 13-12.|
|1-33.||Big Woods (1955)||first printing||(VG/none)||25.00|
|1-34.||The Southern Reposure (1956)||first edition||(F)||700.00|
In 1956 Faulkner was part of a convened group of political moderates in Mississippi. Though the group had no lasting impact it did stay together long enough to publish a single issue of The Southern Reposure, a satirical newspaper. According to the autobiography of group member P.D. East, Faulkner was an integral part of the discussions about the paper and was the sole source of its headline. Few of the distributed copies survived, and today this ephemeral artifact is one of the rarer items containing Faulkner creative contributions.
|1-35.||The Town (1957)||a) #224 of 450 signed copies||(F/ none, as issued)||2,500.00|
|b) first state book in first state jacket||(VG/VG minus)||100.00|
|c) second state book in second state jacket||(F/VG)||60.00|
|d) variant gray-ish binding in proper jacket||(VG/VG)||60.00|
|e) second printing:|
See note at item 1-5(b) for information on later printings.
|f) first English edition||(VG minus/VG minus)||60.00|
|g) A Concordance to the Novel in two volumes||(both volumes F/ none, as published)||100.00|
|h) See also item 1-41 and item 6-59.|
|1-36.||The Mansion (1959)||a) first printing||(VG/VG)||100.00|
|b) typescript setting copy and miscellaneous typescript and galley pages, from Garland Publishing||(F minus)||2 volumes for 75.00|
Garland issued a set of oversized volumes photographically reproducing the texts handwritten and typed by Faulkner and texts submitted to the publisher's typesetter for many Faulkner titles. These offer a great look at the development of a book for publication - changes suggested hy editors and changes made by Faulkner. These also offer the best evidence of what Faulkner handwriting and typing look like. Unfortunately, the books in this set were extremely expensive when available, and are now out of print and difficult to obtain.
The full Garland set for The Mansion consists of four volumes.
|c) first English edition||(F/VG)||75.00|
|d) English reprint edition in pictorial dust jacket (1962)||(F minus/VG)||10.00|
|e) See also item 1-41 and item 6-32.|
|1-37.||Requiem For a Nun: A Play (1959):|
The script of the stage production, with photographs.
|a) first printing, signed by Ruth Ford||(VG/VG)||100.00|
|b) first printing||(RM, VG/VG)||30.00|
The title page of this new text describes the work as "from the novel by William Faulkner, adapted to the stage by Ruth Ford," but there is good reason to believe that Faulkner did the writing himself, and what help he had in turning his novel into a play came from Albert Camus, not Ms. Ford.
|c) See also items 12-2 through 12-9.|
|1-38.||The Reivers (1962)||a) first edition||(VG/VG)||75.00|
|b) first paperback printing (1969)||(F)||5.00|
|c) first Israeli edition (1963)||(VG/VG minus minus)||40.00|
|d) first Hungarian edition (1965)||(VG/VG)||40.00|
|e) See also item 1-78, item 6-24, and items 11-19 through 11-32.|
|1-39.||Selected Short Stories (1962)||first Modern Library edition||(F/VG)||20.00|
|1-40.||Early Prose and Poetry (1962)|
Before he was a famous novelist and short story writer William Faulkner was an artist trying to find his medium and his muse. The poems, drawings and reviews he contributed to University of Mississippi publications in the 1910s and 1920s constitute most of his earliest published work. Critics can argue all they want about influences on Faulkner, but the only answers with any authority are those provided by Faulkner and his work. This volume of his early work is the only obtainable source of most of these materials.
The true first edition was by Kenkyusha in Japan, as Faulkner's University Pieces. The American edition is actually the second edition of the book, though does add some new material. All editions are out of print.
|a) softbound edition, second printing||(VG minus)||15.00|
|b) first English edition||(F/VG)||50.00|
|1-41.||The Snopes Trilogy (1964)||first edition||(3 VG books/VG slipcase)||100.00|
In 1964 Random House reissued The Hamlet, The Town and The Mansion; the three volumes of the Snopes trilogy; in identical back cloth bindings without dust jackets in a cardboard slipcase. The case for almost every set on the market has a photo of Faulkner. The books that come in those cases have book club slugs on the back cover. I believe that this was a book club issue. A small number of sets come in a slipcase with a gold label and no photo. Though this is less attractive, I believe this is the first edition of this set. Based on my limited observations, the gold-label books do not have slugs. The gold label set is very, very uncommon. Really very uncommon. This gold label set for sale does not have tissue wrappers: I have seen only one set that does, and do not know if the tissue was original or added by an owner. There is a stain from a removed sticker on the box. The books are all in very good condition. This is a remarkably difficult set to get.
|b) first English edition||(F/VG)||50.00|
|1-42.||The Wishing Tree (1967)||a) limited edition, #285 of 500 copies||(F/F/F minus slipcase)||150.00|
|b) first English edition||(F/VG)||100.00|
The English first edition is surprisingly difficult to find. If scarcity alone dictated value this would be priced at several hundred dollars.
|d) See also item 6-61 for the magazine first printing.|
|1-43.||Flags In the Dust (1973)||first printing||(F/F minus)||70.00|
At last, the first publication of the first Yoknapatawpha story! Which made it through one printing before Random House gave up on it too. Is it really that bad a book?
|1-44.||Marionettes (1975)||a) Copy #100 of a limitation of 100 published by the Bibliographical Society of Virginia, consisting of 10" by 13" unbound sheets in a slipcase.||(F/ G slipcase)||200.00|
|b) One of 500 copies published by The Yoknapatawpha Press consisting of a facsimile of the original book with a booklet Memory of Marionettes by Ben Wasson, in a slipcase. This copy not numbered.||(everything F)||125.00|
|1-45.||Mayday (1976)||first trade printing, published 1980||(F/F)||25.00|
|1-46.||Uncollected Stories (1979)||a) first printing||(F)||75.00|
The Franklin Library issues those pretty leather-bound books that suggest culture without actually delivering it. But in two instances the Franklin Library edition is the true first edition of a Faulkner title, predating the "regular" edition. If you want the Uncollected first this is it. And it is a particularly pretty edition.
|b) first trade printing||(F/F)||30.00|
|1-47.||Helen: A Courtship (1980)||first trade edition (1981)||(F/F)||25.00|
|1-48.||Father Abraham (1983)||a) limited edition, #18 of 210||(F/none, as published)||450.00|
|b) first trade printing||(F/F)||30.00|
|1-49.||Elmer (1983)||a) limited edition, #21 of 200 numbered copies||(VG/none, as published)||100.00|
|b) an unnumbered copy||(VG/ none, as published)||50.00|
The limitation page of this first and only book publication of the complete text of an early Faulkner story mentions 200 numbered copies and 26 lettered copies. It appears that more than 226 copies were produced, some of which were neither numbered nor lettered. How many of these undefined copies exist is not known, but it likely is not many. These probably were not intended to make it out to the public, but some did.
|1-50.||"The Old Hunter Said," "Race At Morning," and excerpts from Go Down Moses and Faulkner in the University in Guirard, Seasons of Light In the Atchafalaya Basin (1983)||first edition, inscribed by Guirard||(VG/VG minus)||30.00|
This book pairs Faulkner's words with Guirard's color nature photography. How did this Louisiana photographer secure the rights to this material for his vanity press effort? - the Faulkner estate has been tight-fisted about republication. And then there's the confusing title. One of the more more enigmatic Faulkner releases.
|1-51.||Vision In Spring (1984):|
Fourteen love poems written in the 1920s.
|a) first printing, signed by Sensibar||(F/VG)||35.00|
|b) first printing||(F/VG)||25.00|
|1-52.||Hunting Stories (1988)||#598 of 850 copies||(F in F slipcase)||350.00|
Most pretty books are little more than pretty. The Easton Press and Heritage Press, to name but two, make books that look nice on a shelf but otherwise have little reason to exist. The Limited Editions Club, on the other hand, has set standards no other press has been able to meet over such a long period. Each of their books contains original work hand-produced for the volume by a leading illustrator of the day, and the work is actually signed by the illustrator. The edition is also signed by the author when possible. The books are printed on fine paper and bound at least in part with fine leather. A Limited Editions Club volume is more than just pretty.
Hunting Stories contains "The Old People" and the short version of "The Bear." The book is obviously not signed by Faulkner. It is signed by artist Neil Welliver, who has contributed two hand-produced color etchings. A very handsome book!
|1-53.||Spotted Horses (1988)||#220 of 600 copies||(F in F minus slipcase)||400.00|
What I said above about the Limited Editions Club issue is even more apt for this deluxe edition from the University of South Carolina Press. Bound in cloth with leather spine; printed on archival felt paper; signed by artist Boyd Saunders; does not just include 12" by 16" plates, but a loose signed lithograph as well. And the cloth-covered clamshell-case is made especially for this volume. This publication seems very likely to become highly valued.
This copy is in fine condition. The case is dirty on the back.
|1-54.||Afternoon of a Cow (1991)||One of 200 softbound copies on fine Johannot paper, from the Windhover Press.||(F)||140.00|
|1-55.||Nobel Prize Library: Faulkner/ O'Neill/ Steinbeck (1971):|
Contains the complete As I Lay Dying, "A Rose For Emily," and the Nobel presentation and acceptance speeches, with color illustrations by Robert J. Lee; plus similar material by the other two authors.
|Hardbound in fake leather without a dust jacket; edition unknown.||(F)||12.00|
|1-56.||Novels 1930-1935 (1985):|
A Library of America volume, includes As I Lay Dying, Sanctuary, Light in August, and Pylon.
|1-57.||Kawin, ed., To Have and Have Not (1980)||first softbound edition||(VG)||20.00|
|1-58.||Brodsky and Hamblin eds., The DeGaulle Story (1984): |
A screenplay actually written by Faulkner, not a critical study.
|first softbound edition||(VG)||20.00|
|1-59.||"Country Lawyer" and Other Stories for the Screen (1987)||first printing||(F/F)||15.00|
|1-60.||Brodsky and Hamblin, eds., Stallion Road (1989)||first edition||(F/F)||20.00|
|1-61.||Garrett, Hardison and Gelfman, eds., Film Scripts One (1989): |
Includes The Big Sleep written by Faulkner.
|first softbound edition||(XL/D, VG)||15.00|
I have heard defenses of Faulkner novels I consider almost unreadable and Faulkner poetry that even poets find leaden, on the theory that everything Faulkner wrote is instructive in some way. I don't necessarily disagree, I do question the sincerity when it stops short of a large body of work penned by Faulkner over a long period of time. Yes, much of the work Faulkner did for the screen was redone by others, but shouldn't Faulkner's influence still be present and instructive? The "who knows what is Faulkner's" argument does not explain the neglect of the screenplays and story ideas that are unquestionably Faulkner's. One seriously believing that Faulkner never wrote a wrong word should be familiar with the material in the volumes immediately above.
|1-62.||Meriwether, ed., A Faulkner Miscellany (1974)||a) first edition||(sealed)||30.00|
|b) first edition||(VG/VG)||20.00|
This volume contains the first book publication of several pieces by Faulkner, as well as good looks at works not much looked at. A valuable miscellany.
Braithwaite's Anthology of Magazine Verse for the 1925 Yearbook of American Poetry (1925):
Reprints "The Lilacs" from the June 1925 issue of The Double Dealer.
The first anthology containing Faulkner material. If one thinks about this too much Faulkner's inclusion makes no sense. At the time of this publication Faulkner had yet to publish a novel, a story that was more than a sketch, anything of any kind that had attracted any noticeable attention whatsoever from any critic anywhere. The complete record of Faulkner publications to an audience wider than University of Mississippi students through the end of 1925 is the poem "L'Apres-Midi D'un Faune" in The New Republic in 1919; a poem in a 1922 issue of the New Orleans monthly The Double Dealer; and six pieces of no particular distinction in three 1925 issues of The Double Dealer. One would be tempted to conclude that published poetry was in short supply and the editor took what could be found, but the lengthy List of Poems Published at the end of the volume gives the lie to that theory. What was it about Faulkner or these 100 lines that interested Mr. Braithwaite? We may never know. But if where one starts has significance - and I feel it does - this is it, and the "how did it happen" no longer matters, the rest, as they say, is history.
American Caravan IV (1931):
Contains the first publication of "Ad Astra.".
|one of 250 numbered copies signed by two of the editors||(VG minus/none)||50.00|
One of the first anthologies containing Faulkner prose, and this one contains a story not previously published - the true first edition of "Ad Astra."
The Best Short Stories of 1932:
First book publication of "Smoke."
Mississippi Verse (1934):
Reprints seven poems from A Green Bough.
Though Faulkner would assemble a volume of poetry in 1933 it was obvious before that, even to him, that he would not make his name that way. But he was a Mississippian who had published poetry, and so it made sense to include him in the anthology of Mississippi Verse. The earlier Anthology of Younger Poets is harder to understand. At the time that it was published Faulkner had but one volume of poetry, and it is safe to say that even in the 1930s few people had read it or even knew of its existence. Contempo did nothing to expand (create would be a better word) his reputation as a poet. I could understand trying to cash in on Faulkner's growing notoriety as a storyteller, but Centaur Press made no attempt to highlight the author's name. Faulkner was willing to sell anything anyone wanted to buy; the question is why The Centaur Press had been willing to buy.
The Best Short Stories of 1934:
The first book publication of "Beyond."
|first printing||(VG minus/none)||10.00|
The Best Short Stories of 1935:
The first book publication of "Lo!".
The Best Short Stories of 1936:
The first book publication of "That Will Be Fine."
|first printing||(F minus/none)||10.00|
The Best Short Stories of 1940:
The first book publication of "Hand Upon the Waters".
|first printing||(F/VG minus)||15.00|
O'Henry Prize Stories of 1941:
The first book publication of "The Old People".
|Book League edition||(VG/VG)||10.00|
O'Henry Prize Stories of 1942:
The first book publication of "Two Soldiers".
|Literary Guild edition||(VG/VG)||15.00|
The Queen's Awards 1946:
The first book publication of "An Error in Chemistry."
The World Within (1947):
With "Percy Grimm."
|first printing||(VG/G minus)||10.00|
Saturday Evening Post Stories 1955:
First book publication of "Race at Morning."
|first printing||(F/G plus)||10.00|
Prize Stories 1957: The O'Henry Awards:
First book publication of "By the People."
First Fiction: An Anthology of the First Published Stories By Famous Writers (1994)
with "Landing In Luck"
|softbound original, first printing||(VG)||10.00|
Even as early as 1934 a Faulkner bibliography stated that his first published story was "A Rose For Emily." This mistake would be repeated in bibliographies for the next 25 years. Not until 1962 when Carvel Collins compiled Faulkner's University of Mississippi pieces (published in this country as Early Prose and Poetry, item 1-40 above) did the public become aware that Faulkner's first published story predated "Emily" by 11 years. Did Collins' inclusion of "Landing in Luck" make the story "collected" so that it no longer qualified for inclusion in Uncollected Stories (item 1-46); or had the story again been forgotten when Joseph Blotner was assembling his comprehensive anthology in 1979? Whatever the reason, this 1994 anthology is but the second time Faulkner's first published prose has been available to the general public; and with Collins' book itself out of print this is now the only way Faulkner's first story can be purchased.
This book also includes first works by other Southern greats Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, Carson McCullers, Truman Capote, Flannery O'Connor and Alice Walker, as well as many other 20th century Americans. A fabulous way to see how different writers compared at the same stage of their careers.
Reader's Digest Condensed Book Volume 1, 1963 Winter Selections:
with "Hell Street Crossing," an excerpt from The Reivers, with original illustrations
|first printing||(VG/VG minus)||10.00|
We think of Faulkner as a writer not likely to appeal to the masses, and yet several of his books were available through the Book of the Month Club. In some cases explanations can be deduced: Collected Stories and The Faulkner Reader are good introductions to a famous author people might not have read; A Fable won major awards; The Wishing Tree gained renown as a previously unknown children's story by an author thought not to have written any. It would be tempting to say that the BOTMC was inspired to carry The Reivers by the movie, but the book club issue was shortly after the book's first publication and the movie was not until 1969. This title can be explained only by Faulkner's death which is no explanation at all since the masses who had ignored Faulkner in life were not likely to jump on his bandwagon just because it had stopped rolling.
Book clubs at least have some percentage of literate readers justifying the occassional highbrow release. Reader's Digest caters exclusively to those who like their fiction pre-chewed and easily digested. BOTMC releases could create the public interest leading to the RD interest but it never had before with Faulkner. And this isn't even a condensation of The Reivers but a condensation of an excerpt that had previously appeared in The Saturday Evening Post magazine. Bizarre!
But if this text offers no food for thought to a Faulkner fan the artifact offers much. What lead to Reader's Digest's interest in Faulkner in 1963? Is there any significance to the five other selections in the volume? Why did RD choose to publish just an excerpt, not the whole novel? Why did this condensed story appear just in this book, not in the magazine? I have this volume in my collection and every once in a while I look at it and wonder.
Speaking of bizarre anthologies I must comment on Great American Short Stories published by Gallery Books (1990). No editor is identified and had I been responsible for this I'd wish to remain anonymous also. In a brief biographical paragraph Faulkner is identified as having been born in New Albany, Missouri and moving to Oxford, Missouri. Faulkner is credited with having written eight novels and four short story collections between 1929-1942 "about the Compson family of Jefferson." "That Evening Sun" [Technically the correct title. Though first published as "That Evening Sun Go Down" the title was abbreviated when it was included in These 13. Gallery uses the Collected Stories version, not the original story that had appeared in American Mercury. One wishes that that information had been included in the introduction accompanying the story and not buried in the fine print of Acknowledgments at the back of the volume.] is described as a tale of the Compsons "preceding the major novels," establishing this editor as perhaps unique in rejecting both The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying as substantive. This may be the gold standard for critical ineptitude.