Bridge over Creek near Jefferson (Location Key)


When Quentin Compson confronts Dalton Ames in town, at Ames' suggestion they agree to meet later at "that bridge over the creek in there back of" - at that point Quentin interrupts him, so we can't be sure what place he was going to mention (158). It's close enough to the Compson house for Quentin to walk (or rather, "run") there (159). When they do meet, the bridge is "in the woods" (159). This happens in The Sound and the Fury, which Faulkner wrote in 1929. It was over two decades later that he wrote Requiem for a Nun, with the prose sections that trace much of the early history of Jefferson and Yoknapatawpha. There's no way to know if Faulkner remembered Quentin and Ames' encounter when he describes "the creek in Compson's pasture" (33). It is mentioned twice in that novel. First, as the place where Grenier and Sutpen "set up camps" for the slaves they have brought to town to help build the courthouse (33). At some later point a bridge is built over the creek - now referred to as "Compson's creek" - and at this spot the Chickasaws who are coming to the store stop to "bathe their legs and feet" before putting on their "pants and shoes" (173). It's a speculation to suggest that these two bridges occupy the same place - on the map of Yoknapatawpha or in the imagination of the creator of Yoknapatawpha. But as long as we acknowledge that, it's interesting to think about building a bridge between these events.

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Bridge over Creek near Jefferson
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Bridge over Creek near Jefferson