Government Reservoir at Oxford (Location Key)


The University of Mississippi at Oxford was always already absent when Faulkner first created Yoknapatawpha - if that isn't too Faulknerian a way to say that one of the main differences between Faulkner's world and the one it's largely based on is that there's no university in Jefferson. After 1940 Faulkner could be said to have left out another major part of the landscape of Lafayette County: what the narrator of "Two Soldiers" refers to as "that Government reservoy up at Oxford" (81). Sardis Lake, as this reservoir is called, was built as a reservoir and flood control project during the Depression, one of the Roosevelt Administration’s public works. Opened in 1940, it flooded fourteen miles of the Tallahatchie, the river that marks the northern boundary of Yoknapatawpha and that flows undammed - to use another Faulkneresque locution - through all the fictions. Faulkner himself regularly made recreational use of the lake.

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Government Reservoir at Oxford
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Government Reservoir at Oxford