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Posted by on Jan 30, 2014 | 3 comments

Collections: Mark’s Faulkner Library

Collections: Mark’s Faulkner Library

My husband is a collector of books (fiction, non-fiction, even vintage year books), but his most prized collection by far has to be his William Faulkner books.

Novels, short stories, plays, literary criticism, he has it all.

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There is even a special bookcase in our house that can only hold Faulkner. (Bad things will happen apparently if you put something other than Faulkner on the shelves. I don’t dare try.)

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Mark has at least two copies of each of Faulkner’s major works, plus books from small independent publishers.

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Some are protected by book jackets…

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Others such as these paperbacks are kept in plastic sleeves.

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There are original books and some first editions…

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Reprints en francais (purchased in Montreal, though Mark does not speak French)…

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Feature magazine articles…

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And copies of manuscripts with Faulkner’s hand-written notes.

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Personally, the only Faulkner I’ve ever completely read is As I Lay Dying. Faulkner is a tough read. Mark said he got so frustrated trying to read the Sound and the Fury in high school, he threw the book across the room on the third try. I don’t think I made it past the first chapter.

Nothing is particularly valuable, Mark picked up most of the books at book sales and used book stores, starting after college when he finally had money to spend. He remembers seeing a signed copy of Notes of a Horsethief at a sale but the $300 price tag gave him second thoughts. He still regrets not buying it. Copies are currently valued over $1300.

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Why Faulkner? Mark’s dad’s side of the family is from Oxford, Mississippi, where Faulkner once lived. Faulkner based the fictional town of Jefferson on Oxford and its surrounding county, Lafayette, which he renamed Yoknapatawpha. This photo essay book shows the places Faulkner lived and worked and drew inspiration, including the Oxford town square, where Mark has visited.

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We’ve shared a few collections on DIY Del Ray and it’s always interesting to find out how they got started and what keeps them going.  In Mark’s case, I guess, it’s a connection to the past, a reminder of family heritage and, of course, an appreciation for an incredible American author.

If you have a collection you’d like to share in a future post, we’d love to hear from you!

3 Comments

  1. Love this! I have some JD Salinger vintage books and adore them. Not only great reads, but I find the various book covers so special – consider the covers to be works of art, too!

  2. Hey! How’d that Merriam Webster Dictionary get on my Faulkner case at the bottom right of picture 2? Do I need to hire a librarian to keep things like this from happening?

  3. @katiewannen, I used to work in the US Copyright Office and hated that they threw out the book covers. I wrote memos to appropriate people, but … nothing changed.

    I love book collections… love Faulkner. I often think of his famous quote about having a phone making you at the mercy of any son-of-a-bitch with a nickel… and our current willingness to be at the mercy of anyone… with enough money to own a phone (no phone booths anymore). Times change so dramatically.

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