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When I think of that day, of Father's old troop on their horses drawn up facing the house, and Father and Drusilla on the ground with that carpet bagger voting box in front of them, and opposite them the women--Aunt Louisa, Mrs Habersham and all the others--on the porch and the two sets of them, the men and the women, facing one another like they were both waiting for a bugle to sound the charge, I think I know the reason. I think it was because Father's troop (like all the other Southern soldiers too), even though they had surrendered and said that they were whipped, were still soldiers. Maybe from the old habit of doing everything as one man; maybe when you have lived for four years in a world ordered completely by men's doings, even when it is danger and fighting, you dont want to quit that world: maybe the danger and the fighting are the reasons, because men have been pacifists for every reason under the sun except to avoid danger and fighting. And so now Father's troop and all the other men in Jefferson, and Aunt Louisa and Mrs Habersham and all the women in Jefferson were actually enemies for the reason that the men had given in and admitted that they belonged to the United States but the women had never surrendered.
"[T]he canon of Faulkner's work includes some of the most breathlessly lyrical passages set down in any other language, pieces of writing so beautiful they can make your heart stop, make your eyes water with wonder that a human being could create something so fine.... Faulkner is a master of structure and plot, a complete writer whose books become even greater when considered together, whose integrated vision of place--embodied in his creation of the mythic Mississippi county of Yoknapatawpha--is perhaps his most enduring attribute....
Faulkner may well be the greatest writer this country has ever produced, and the publication of these novels in such excellent new editions is a real cause to celebrate. It is an act of faith in our culture, an attempt to preserve and propagate something of lasting value, something that is beautiful and unique. Hopefully, that faith will be rewarded, and readers will come flocking to this book, and its author, in droves."
--The Bloomsbury Review
Library of America Web Site, May, 2001
If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem [The Wild Palms]
Notes on the Texts
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