Haley Bottom (Location Key)


The place called "Haley bottom" appears only in As I Lay Dying, the third Yoknapatawpha novel. Although it is the first text in which Faulkner calls his county "Yoknapatawpha" (203), it is clear that he is still working out the topographical details of this new world. Once the Bundrens cross the flooded river, they should be able to travel straight from Frenchman's Bend to Jefferson. But according to Armstid, "the levee through Haley bottom had done gone for two miles and . . . the only way to get to Jefferson would be go around by Mottson" (185). Although this is vague, it seems to be saying that a levee built between the road to town and a creek at a particularly low place (a "bottom") has been carried away by the rising water. Anse confirms this when he tells the Mottson sheriff that they are in his town because "the road was washed out" (204). In any case, the road's impassibility makes the Bundrens' journey take several days longer - a good enough reason for Faulkner to include this creek and levee as part of the landscape of Yoknapatawpha. No where else, however, neither on Faulkner's maps nor in any of the other fictions, is there a creek alongside the road between the Bend and Jefferson.

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