"That Evening Sun" (Text Key 248)

short story

"That Evening Sun" is a short story first published under the title "That Evening Sun Go Down" in March 1931 in the American Mercury magazine. The title is taken from the song "St. Louis Blues," composed by W.C. Handy in 1914 and popularized by Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong in 1927. There are four different versions of the story: a six-page early draft, possibly begun sometime between 1927-1929, titled "Never Done No Weeping When You Wanted to Laugh" (posthumously published in Mississippi Quarterly in 1983); the typescript of "That Evening Sun Go Down," which Faulkner sent to H.L. Mencken for editing and revision and which was published under the title "That Evening Sun Go Down" in Mencken's American Mercury; and a later revision published under the title "That Evening Sun" in the 1931 collection These 13. This version is essentially identical to the final form that appears in The Collected Stories (1977), which provides the source for our representation.
There is a problem with the larger chronology of this story's narrator, Quentin Compson, because he commits suicide in 1910 in The Sound and the Fury (1929). It is not clear how he can be alive and, as the first paragraph of "That Evening Sun" indicates, looking back 15 years from the 1920s. While Faulkner added the first paragraph of the story for the American Mercury, evidence suggests that he conceived of and even began "That Evening Sun" before writing The Sound and the Fury.

First Publisher: 
American Mercury
First Publisher Date: 
March 1931
Page Start: 
Page Stop: 
Edit Copy Publisher: 
Vintage International
Edit Copy Publisher Location: 
New York
Edit Copy Publisher Date: 
Search DIsplay Order: 
Publication Date: 

How to cite this resource:
Knepper, Steven, Cheryl Lester, and Julie Napolin. "Faulkner's 'That Evening Sun.'" Added to the project: 2014. Additional editing 2018: Johannes H. Burgers, Theresa M. Towner. Digital Yoknapatawpha, University of Virginia, http://faulkner.iath.virginia.edu