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.

“Hand Upon the Waters”

Floyd Davis, who also illustrated "Tomorrow" and "Shingles for the Lord," did the illustration for "Hand Upon the Waters," one of the detective stories featuring Gavin Stevens that Faulkner later collected in the book Knight's Gambit. For this story Davis used the story's first two pages, which faced each other in the Post, to create one larger drawing of the scene at the grist mill during the coroner's inquest. Below right: a composite of the two pages.

Page 14, 4 November 1939 Saturday Evening Post     Page 15, 4 November 1939 Saturday Evening Post     Page 14-15, 4 November 1939 Saturday Evening Post

      Citing this source:
Stephen Railton, "Illustrating 'Hand Upon the Waters,'" Digital Yoknapatawpha, University of Virginia,   (Date added to project: 2018)
Illustrations © The Saturday Evening Post.