Magazine Illustrations


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The first visualizations of Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha fictions were the illustrations drawn to accompany the publication of his short stories in magazines like The Saturday Evening Post, Scribner's and Collier's, the large circulation periodicals that Faulkner regularly submitted work to in his quest for income. Although Faulkner occasionally worked directly with the magazines' editors to revise a story, there is no evidence that he had any control over - or even interest in - the way these magazines illustrated his texts. The illustrations can, however, help us appreciate the way Faulkner's world, and the people of different races and classes who inhabit it, appeared to his original readers.

The following items are drawn from the William Faulkner Foundation Collection at the University of Virginia's Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library (
Click on any image to see an enlargement.

“By the People”

The seven drawings by Jean Watts that appeared along with the story in the October 1955 issue of Mademoiselle emphasize the humorous, perhaps even the cartoonish aspects of Faulkner's tall tale. Huey Long, the Southern demagogue mentioned in the story, had been dead for two decades in 1955, but in the immediate aftermath of the McCarthy Era a different artist might have chosen to indicate the story's more serious political implications.  Even Watts' Ku Klux Klan regalia, however, and the policeman who has drawn his weapon seem as unthreatening as Watts' hound.  (In a few more years, of course, after the Civil Rights Movement begins, it would have been impossible to depict Southern policemen and dogs, not to mention Southern demagogues and the KKK, so blandly.)

Page 86, October 1955 Mademoiselle     Page 87, October 1955 Mademoiselle     Page 88, October 1955 Mademoiselle     Page 89, October 1955 Mademoiselle

      Citing this source:
Stephen Railton, "Illustrating 'By the People,'" Digital Yoknapatawpha, University of Virginia,   (Date added to project: 2018)
Illustrations © Mademoiselle.