Yoknapedia: a guide to Faulkner's "apocryphal county"





By all means let us make a Golden Book of my apocryphal county. I have thought of spending my old age doing something of that nature: an alphabetical, rambling genealogy of the people, father to son to son.
—William Faulkner, letter to Malcolm Cowley, The Faulkner-Cowley File, p. 25.


Here you'll find an encyclopedic resource aimed at novice readers of the fiction of William Faulkner. It runs the gamut from the esoteric and brief (pussel-gutted, raree show) to essay-length and crucial (religion; Civil War). The entries are authored by Hunter College undergraduate and M.A. students, many of whom are encountering Faulkner for the first time; the entries are then lightly edited by the instructor. What it loses thereby in scholarly authority, I hope it gains back by revealing some of the pleasure and challenge of "unknowing," in Philip Weinstein's resonant concept, that Faulkner's work entails.

Entries have a standard format for clarity. First, a description of the word or phrase being elucidated: this can be a single sentence or a longish essay, depending on the term's complexity. Next, a quote or quotes: all refer to the Vintage International editions of the texts unless otherwise noted, and all use the following abbreviations. Finally, if required, a list of works cited in MLA format. For more detail, see the style guide.

Instructors and students: I intend this resource to be open and hope to keep building it after its initial phase in conjunction with two sections of a Faulkner course at Hunter College/CUNY in Fall 2013. So please contact me if you would like to join the site and/or use it for your own teaching.