Digital Yoknapatawpha Project: Entering Data (January 2015 Revision)

Here I’ll try to explain both the larger concepts that govern the way we’re turning Faulkner’s texts into “data,” and the specific steps by which you’ll use the Drupal program to enter each piece of data into the project’s database.  I hope I don’t sound too bossy, but the success of the whole project depends on the database, and a good database requires accuracy and consistency, so it’s crucial that we all use the same guidelines.

We are, however, still at an early point in the process of building DY, and many unanswered questions remain about what we should be doing, including how our databases should be defined.  Event Keywords, for example, is a category we are still in the process of defining together.  There are, for example, two major categories where we will work together to decide what we should do.  I’ll explain this further below, in the sections on “Notes” for the Event category. 

And more generally, you should always feel free to raise questions about all the categories and fields, as we did at our meeting in Charlottesville in July.  (This revised set of Instructions includes the additions and refinements we agreed on at that meeting.)  There will be multiple ways to share your concerns and suggestions with the group over the next several years, and there is no limit on the number or kind of questions we can try to answer together.  So even as you follow these instructions and enter data according to the current Location, Character and Event fields, please keep track of whatever you think needs changing, adding, improving.  Both our database and these instructions are very much works in progress.

I’m sorry these instructions are so long, but we learned from the first set of stories that there’s a lot that needs to be spelled out.  Please read through the instructions once, in full, to get larger picture, including a sense of the conceptual issues we still need to resolve.  But you don’t have to memorize anything.  Once you start entering data you’ll be able to use the HELP buttons on the Drupal entry forms for each of the specific Locations, Characters and Events fields.

And if there’s anything in these Instructions that is unclear, or incomplete, or unnecessarily annoying, let me know that too, please.  My prose is very revisable!   Thanks.  Steve   (October 2012)


Each team should come up with its own plan for collaborating, but it is important that every piece of data be seen by the whole team, and agreed on by at least 2 members.  Who are the Characters in your story? and what is each one’s Rank? etc. – all these decisions should be ratified by the team.

If a team simply cannot agree on what data to enter – say, what Class a character belongs to – the advisory editors and I will be there to resolve the dispute (I hope!).

Based on her experience editing “Spotted Horses” this past spring, Dottie Dye suggested we come up with a template for each of the 3 categories, so we’ve done that.  Using the templates isn’t a required step.  Teams can confer about the data any way you want before using Drupal.  The process in Drupal, however, is set up so that someone entering data cannot SAVE a new entry until all the required fields have been filled in.  Working the fields out ahead of time with templates should make the process go more smoothly.

An alternative procedure could be to have one editor enter all his/her data for Locations into Drupal, where the other editors could view and, whenever there is a question or disagreement, comment on the choices. 

View and print each template by following “Download data entry template” link at the top of each main category.

You have to log in to Drupal to create or revise data.  This allows the system to track authorship of each piece of data. 

In these instructions I discuss the three main categories of data in the order in which it makes the most sense to enter them: 1. Locations, 2. Characters, 3. Events (you’ll see why you should work in that order as you keep reading).  For each piece of data in your story – Location, Character, or Event – you’ll start by clicking on the “Add a new [Location|Character|Event]” link under the “Download template” link.

When entering data, it’s a good idea to have two or three browser windows open to the Drupal site at the same time.  That way you can keep the page on which you’re entering data open on one window, while using the other(s) as necessary for cross checking, getting x- and y-coordinates, and so on.  Drupal isn’t the easiest program to move around in, so it’s good to keep the page you’re filling in open, and use other windows to move around.  (Ex: I realized entering dates for Flags Events that I often lost track of the date of preceding event; being able to check that in a different window was much easier than saving the current event, clicking back to the previous one, etc.)

And once you’ve “Added” all your entries in each category, and are revising or reviewing, here are a couple other program functions that will probably come in handy.

The front pages for each main category (Locations, Characters, Events) display all the items in the database for that category, by Text and Name, but also along with a few other kinds of data (exs: Pg, i.e. Page Event Begins, with Events; or Date_of_Birth with Characters, etc).  Currently each category sorts by one of these fields (exs: Text in the case of Locations, or Name in the case of Characters).  You can ask Drupal to re-organize the lists by other fields.  For example, when you’re editing the Characters you created for a story, by clicking on the word Text in the first column, you can gather all the characters in your story together.  Clicking on any field in the top row will organize the list by that field.

And an important extra feature is the text filters at the top of each category (Locations, Characters, Events), which again will be useful as you revise or review the entries you created.  By using the filter’s pull down menu and clicking on your text, you’ll eliminate all the data from other stories.  This is especially useful when reviewing and revising Events. After you use the filter to segregate only the Events from your text, you can click on “Pg,” the second column, and sort all your story’s Events into narrative sequence, from beginning to end of story.

This sounds more complicated than it is, and you can practice with the data that’s already in Drupal – i.e. try using filter, sorting by the various fields, etc.  Just make sure you don’t edit data that any other team has created!

We have agreed to use Faulkner’s Collected Stories and Uncollected Stories (ed. Blotner) as source texts for the short stories, and the Viking International paperback texts ("Corrected by Noel Polk") as the source texts for the novels.  If your team feels there’s another version of a story that should be used instead, please contact me so we can discuss your reasons.  As a last step in editing your story, you’ll write an “About the Text” note, and there you can discuss what other versions of a story exist, what differences might be, etc. 

Brief quotations from your story can enrich a Location or Character description, or a summary of an Event, so feel free to use them.  Quotations should all be identified by page numbers in parentheses, right after the quotation.

When you’ve finished each item, hit the SAVE button at the bottom of the form.  The Drupal system will tell you if there are any problems.  If not, you then go back to the “Add a new...” link to begin entering the next Location, Character or Event.

Instructions for Locations Data Entry

What is a “Location”?

In the Summer 2012 the editors of the first 4 stories and I came up with a consensus answer to this question which was re-confirmed at our Summer 2013 meeting.  This is one of those things that we can discuss changing, but in the meantime, please use this definition:


(1) Places in or outside Yoknapatawpha where Events in your story occur are all Locations.


(2) In addition, all places in Yoknapatawpha county that are clearly identified in your story are Locations.  (Ex: in “Spotted Horses” the narrator talks about trying to sell a sewing machine to Mrs. Bundren; narrative never takes readers there, but “Bundren Farm” is a Location that goes on the map.)


(3) In addition, places outside Yoknapatawpha that play a significant role in your story are Locations.  (Ex: the spotted horses and Buck come from Texas, Flem and Eula spend a year in Texas, so even though narrative never takes reader to Texas, Texas goes on the map.)


(4) But places outside Yoknapatawpha that are simply mentioned in passing are not Locations.  (Ex: Quentin remembers that his parents brought Jason a souvenir back from the Fair in St. Louis.  St. Louis does not go on the map.)

This still leaves a lot of room for interpretation: for example, “Kentucky” in The Sound and the Fury?  Gerald Bland’s life there is often talked about, though narrative never goes there, not even through Quentin’s memory.  I would say “Kentucky doesn’t go on the map,” but teams should resolve this kind of question together for their particular text, and later we’ll talk about how make definition as consistent as possible.


A Note on Maps – We create a new map for each story or novel, so please be thinking about how the map for your text should look – what roads to add or subtract, say, or which landscape features need shifting, etc.


Creating Locations:


The first step is to agree with your co-editors on the list of Locations, according to the definition above.  Then check under the Location Keys tab to see which of those locations have already been named elsewhere in the project. 


The Locations Key is called a "lookup table.”  You will create a Location entry for every location in your story.  But the purpose of the Location Keys is to make sure places have consistent names, so that they can be combined and searched across texts.  "Sartoris Plantation," for example, requires a name and code number that will be constant through all the data tables.  If one team calls the "Sartoris Plantation” the “Sartoris Place,” a search for the first won’t turn up the second; that's how literal computers are.  (We’ll use this same process for Characters, as you'll see when you get to that category.)  So: the Key provides a number and name for, say, the Sartoris Plantation in all the fictions.


“Sartoris Plantation” is already on the list, so you won’t add it to the Key.  For all your locations that aren’t in the Key, however, use the “Add a new location key” link to create a Key entry.  Once you’ve done this, you can begin adding the Locations themselves, according to the specific instructions below.


If your team came up with, say, 8 locations for your text, you will “Add a new location” 8 times.  (This includes, for ex, the Sartoris Plantation, if it’s in your story – Key provides the name, but you still have to create the specific Location entry for “Sartoris Plantation in your text.”)  You don’t enter a Location more than once, though; i.e. in Flags in the Dust the narrative keeps returning to the Sartorises (and each of those returns will be a separate Event, on that database), but there’s only one “Sartoris Plantation in Flags in the Dust” under Locations. 


*Required fields are indicated with asterisks.  This means you must make an entry in that field.



Use pull down menu.  Choose the story you’re editing.


*Location Key

Choose from the lookup list.  If the location you need isn’t there, on a second browser window open to Drupal go to Home, and select Location Keys from tabs across top.

Look again at list of locations on the Key, to make sure the one you want isn’t already there. If it isn't, make a note of the “Code” number of the last location on the list. 

Then click on “Add a new location” from the top part of this page.  All you enter here are two things: (1) a Code, which is the next number after the last one already on the list, and (2) a Name.  The Name should be short but descriptive. 

For unique places (i.e. the Compson Place) don't include the title of your text in the Name;  the Name you give the location here is the one it will have whenever the same location appears in other texts too.

For non-unique or generic kinds of places (i.e. a Campsite or Bridge, etc.) do include name of story (ex: "Campsite in Barn Burning"). 


*Display Label

This is what users will see when they hover their cursor over a Location.  Labels should be short and direct.  They should not include name of text (which users will already know). 



Choose from drop down menu. 

 “Event” is what you use for an episode that isn’t attached to a recognizable structure – Bayard’s car accidents in Flags in the Dust, for example.  Use "Other Structure" for physical objects that aren't covered by any other Type on the list (a water tower, for ex, or a farm outbuilding like a cotton house, etc.); this will put a generic "Other Structure" icon on the map, so label should include a specific identifier ("De Spain's Barn," for ex). 

For Locations that can’t appear on a map of Yoknapatawpha –  “Memphis,” “Paris,” etc. – use “Out of Yoknapatawpha” as the type.  These Locations create such a large set of separate issues that here I’ll just say, if your text contains such Locations, add them according to the following directions, and your team and I will then talk about how to put them on our map.  For Out of Yoknapatawpha locations, you will not provide x- and y-coordinates, as described below.


If Other Structure, specify

If Type you selected is "Other Structure," use the box to identify the kind of structure it is.   Keep your entry short (ex: Water Tower, Smokehouse, Fishing Shack).  



 "Role" refers to the role the Location plays in the text you are editing.   Select from drop down menu either "Site of Event," when there is at least one scene in narrative that takes place at this Location, or "Only Mentioned in Text," when narrative mentions the place but never goes there for a scene.   "Bundren Place" is "Site of Event" in As I Lay Dying, but "Only Mentioned" in "Spotted Horses."



 We decided to add this field when we noticed how many Yoknapatawpha buildings burn down.  "Continuous" is the default setting, so if the Location is there when story begins and still there when it ends, you don't do anything here.   But in other cases, select from pulldown menu:

"Built" if Location is created during your text.

"Destroyed" if, during your text, the Location is destroyed.

"Rebuilt" if, at start of your text, there are the remains of a previous site that is then, in the course of text, rebuilt.

"Built and Destroyed" if both processes - its creation and destruction - occur inside your one text.

"Destroyed and Rebuilt" if, again, both these things happen inside your one text.


Other Texts

The other stories and novels that include scenes set at this location. 

As you type a title in the window, Drupal will display list of titles with that combination of letters, and you simply click on the relevant one.  This is another way program promotes consistency.  If the text you want to add does not appear automatically, it means it’s not on the “Text Keys” list, so you’ll have to let me know and we’ll add it.

And how do you know what “Other Texts” should be cited here?  There are good guides Faulkner’s characters and which texts they appear in, but I’m not aware of any dealing with his locations.  List the texts you’re sure of, but if you aren’t sure, don’t worry – we can ask the technology to help us fill in this data later, once we’ve turned all the Yoknapatawpha fictions into data!



 I.e. the basis on which your team determined where a location goes on the map:


“Faulkner Map” = Faulkner placed it there on one of his maps (though here we will need to overwrite him at times – ex: Tull’s place in As I Lay Dying);

“Text (when unambiguous)” = the text of the story clearly specifies or implies the location;

“Context (as interpreted)” = from cues in the text of the story you can tell where the location must be, with reasonable certainty;

“Other Text(s)” = you used the way the Location is described in one or more different Yoknapatawpha fictions to help you decide where to put it on the map of your story.  (Ex: in Flags there is simply no way to tell where in Mississippi is the "New Town" that Horace moves to, but in Sanctuary readers learn that it is in the Delta.  Since that detail doesn't conflict with anything Flags says about the town, it is appropriate to use that information to decide where it should go on the Flags' map.  But note: if your text does provide some cues, and they are not compatible with what another text says, rely on your text for the Location.)

“Speculation” = the text gives no cues, so we had to make the call ourselves – de Spain’s plantation in “Barn Burning” is in this category.  This last category exposes a major issue with “mapping Yoknapatawpha,” so we will certainly need to talk about it further.  In the meantime, though, teams should use all their expertise and good judgment about locating places in this category, and “Speculation” will keep us honest for users of the project.


If Authority is "Other Text(s)," specify

If Authority you selected is "Other Texts," identify which other texts you consulted. 



Unless the Location you’re adding is in the “Out of Yoknapatawpha” category, you must supply x- and y-coordinates for it. Otherwise the technology can’t display the Location’s icon on the map. 

Thanks to Robbie Bingler and the technology, getting the x and y numbers is actually pretty easy:


(1) using another browser window, go to this URL – ;

(2) go to "A Rose for Emily" map (by clicking on the cover);

(3) move your cursor around the map, and note the pair of numbers below and to the right of the map, just above the "Speed" sliders.  These are the co-ordinates of the spots your cursor is moving through, so

(4)  When you have your cursor where you want to put the Location, note the numbers in that pair.  The first is the X coordinate, the second the Y, so enter first number here, and second in the next blank.

One thing to keep in mind: icons are about 30 pixels wide, so if you are putting Locations close together (ex: Varner’s Store and Mrs. Littlejohn’s in “Spotted Horses”), keep at least +/- 30 between the coordinates.  (i.e. 1720, 1225 and 1721, 1230 will put the icons on top of each other).

Another thing to keep in mind: giving same y-coordinates to two Locations will align them horizontally, and same x-coordinates will align them vertically – this will let you put stores around the Courthouse Square in a line, for example.



See X.



When users put their mouse over a Location icon, the Display Label you created will appear.  The Description is what they’ll see when they click on the icon.  Entries here should short, but long enough to allow you to provide a kind of picture of the setting.  I think quoting brief passages from the text’s description of the place is a good idea too (remember: provide page numbers of quotations in parentheses). 

200 words, more or less, fits into the box users will see, but if you need more, users can scroll down.

One issue that came up with first round of data entering: editors often focused these Descriptions on “what happens” at a particular Location.  But that is the kind of information that will be entered in the Events category.  Here, keep focus on what Location is like, on whether it appears often in Faulkner’s fiction, etc.


Once you’ve filled in a Description, your Locations work is done.  Please ignore the stuff below the Description box. 



 Instructions for Characters Data Entry


Who is a character?

The original editorial teams and I agreed that our database can and should contain every person or identifiable group of people mentioned in the fictions (but see "EXCEPTION" below).  This is a lot more characters than one finds in the typical print guide to Faulkner’s characters, where usually only the named people are included.  Including only named figures, however, often perpetuates class and race biases – with Flags, for ex, the peripheral Baron von Rickthofen makes most glossaries (id’d as the German ace who taught the pilot who shot down Johnny Sartoris), but the Unnamed Ford Driver who caused the accident in which Old Bayard dies is never listed; Deacon Rogers is included, but not the Unnamed Blind Negro Musician who begs outside his restaurant. 

At the July 2013 meeting we agreed to add "groups" to the categories of Gender, Race and Class.  So Character entries now allow you to identify a Group (Individual is the default); when you select the Group option, the icon will be display the appropriate group of 3 people.  As you'll see when you get to the  Gender, Race and Class fields, you can also identify Groups as multi-race, -gender or -class, but when the text specifically says "a group of men" or "the black women," etc., you should still use "Male," "Female," "Free Black," etc. 


So: “who is a character?”  Every person or group who appears in the text.  When no name is given, the Character name begins “Unnamed.”  When it’s an un-enumerated group, they will be summed up in a single entry (which also begins “Unnamed ____”) and represented by a single icon.  Current practice is to default to “white male” for heterogeneous groups, for ex, “Townspeople” – but the kind of bias this necessity perpetuates will disappear once the full range of group options (White Men and Women, for ex) is available.


EXCEPTION: During 2014 the directors decided we should not create Character entries for personages who are named in the texts but not in any direct way part of the world of the narrative.  These will mostly if not entirely be historical and literary figures used as points of reference, metaphors, or thematic counters. For example, when Horace mentions "Emma Bovary" in Sanctuary, or Quentin thinks about "Saint Francis" in The Sound and the Fury, or the narrator of Flags compares one of the MacCallums to "Cincinnatus," these people are not to be entered as Characters. Instead, use the Event Keyword field to record their presence in those various passages, following this formula: "Allusion:Name" -- i.e. "Allusion:Emma Bovary," etc. By recording them in the Keywords field, we preserve the option of finding them again if it seems more appropriate later to enter them as Characters. In some cases you'll have to make a close judgment call, but the distinction should be made along the lines of "Could this person ever enter the narrative world of the text?" On that basis, "Ulysses S. Grant" or "Jefferson Davis" or even "Babe Ruth" will usually be Characters, with their own entries, while "Alexandre Dumas" or "Semiramis" are not.


Note on other resources: you should generate your own list of Characters directly from the text, but as a next step some of us have found it really useful to consult the print guides to Faulkner’s fiction to double check on our lists.  These include Faulkner’s World, by Thomas E. Connolly; William Faulkner’s Characters, by Thomas E. Dasher; Faulkner’s People, by Robert W. Kirk; A Critical Companion to William Faulkner, by Fargnoli, Golay and Hamblin; William Faulkner: The Yoknapatawpha Country, by Cleanth Brooks.  (Brooks’ index is especially helpful when filling in the “Other Texts” field below.)  If you know of other good guides to Character data, please feel free to share it with the whole group.  And when finished, the DY site will contain a complete bibliography of the works we used to create it, so if you use any other indexes, please keep track of them.


As with Locations, you will “Add a new character” for every character who appears in the narrative of your story.  If you came up with a list of, say, 23 characters, you will “Add a new character” 23 times.  But NOTE: You are entering data for the character as he/she appears in your text.  I.e. “Colonel John Sartoris” is very different in “Barn Burning” and in The Unvanquished. 


This gets complicated, and is an example of how turning Faulkner’s prose into data can be frustrating.  In the “Biography” you’ll write, you can indicate something about a character’s place/identity in the larger Yoknapatawpha saga – i.e. you can say that “Colonel Sartoris” is a major figure in the whole canon, etc.  But since he is only mentioned in “Barn Burning,” he’s a “Peripheral” character, not a “Major” one (though I’d still classify his “Vitality” as “Dead-ghost”) and the Biography for him you’ll write in the box on the form should focus on his “role” in this particular text.  The same goes for all the other pieces of data.  For example, under “Family”: Elnora in Flags is only identified as Simon's daughter, so a "Strother," but in “There Was a Queen” readers are told she is the illegitimate daughter of John Sartoris; which Family you choose to put her in depends on which text you’re editing.  Once we have all the Yoknapatawpha fictions in the site (!) we’ll create “Master Bio’s” and “Master DataEntries” for the recurring characters, but that’s not what we’re doing now.  For now, base your data on the text you’re editing.


*Asterisks mean you must enter data for this field.



The story you’re editing.  Choose it from the pull down menu.


*Display name

This is what users will see when they hover their mouses over a character icon, so use your judgment about what is best.  One could write, for example, Aunt Jenny Du Pre, or Virginia Du Pre, or just Aunt Jenny – use the name that not only identifies this one character, but is also the name users will be most likely to recognize.  (The other possible versions of a characters name will also get recorded, see AKA below.)


*Sort name

The alphabetical, i.e. last name first, version of the DisplayName – ex: "Du Pre, Aunt Jenny"

But with Unnamed characters, keep "Unnamed" first.  Ex: "Unnamed Jeweler" is still "Unnamed Jeweler," not "Jeweler, Unnamed."



All the other names by which the character is referred to in your text, and if there’s a way most Faulknerians would refer to this figure that isn’t in your particular text, list that too.  Ex: Bayard Sartoris is called “Colonel Sartoris” in “A Rose for Emily,” even though he never held any military rank.  His Display Name could be “Colonel Sartoris” or “Colonel (Bayard) Sartoris” or whatever your team thinks is best, but make sure to list “Bayard Sartoris” and “Old Bayard” in his AKA.  Maybe even “Bayard Sartoris II.”  Since the point of this field is to make sure that a search for, say, "Benbow Sartoris" throughout the Yoknapatawpha fictions finds him as "Bory" too, listing more names rather than fewer is appropriate here.


*Individual or Group

Use pull down menu.

"Individual" is the default setting, so if you're entering data on a person, you don't have to do anything here. But if you're entering data for a "Group" -- more than one person -- choose that option, and make sure you keep Race, Gender and Class choices below consistent with the composition of the Group you're entering.



Use pull down menu.

Pretty simple, until we get to Joe Christmas.  Two un-intuitive details:

1. For Individual “mixed race" characters we now have 4 different sets of icons: choose "Mixed" for a character whose ancestors and black and white (mulatto, quadroon, octoroon, etc.); "MixedBlackIndian" and "MixedIndianWhite" should explain themselves; as far as I know, the "MixedIndianWhiteBlack" only applies to Sam Fathers, but in any case choose that category for characters whose ancestors belong to all three races. "Multiracial Group" means the Group you're working on contains people from more than one race. 

2. Use “Indeterminable” only when  you feel you must, i.e. when you don’t feel there is any basis for identifying the Character’s race, or when (as in the cases of Joe Christmas and his biological father) Faulkner deliberately makes this indeterminable. But I would say, use this option sparingly. When there is a strong presumption of race (for ex, all store owners I can think of would be “White,” even in that adjective never appears in their description, and for me all cooks would be “Black,” unless otherwise specified by text) please select that category.

You should go into specifics about either "Mixed" or "Indeterminate" in the Biography you’ll also write for each character.



Use pull down menu.

Very simple, since I can think of no transgendered characters in Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha fiction. Just note and use the third option ("Multi-gender Group") if you're entering data on a Group that includes both males and females.



Use pull down menu.

We constructed this list doing the characters in Flags, and revised it to include Indian categories and "Indeterminate" at the July meeting.  At that meeting there was some resistance to this entire field; in response the next category (Socioeconomic Standing) was added. But even if you have reservations, you have to decide, based on the way Faulkner's world behaves, which of the following labels best fits each character:

“Upper Class” is for the “old families” (no matter how much money they had in the past, or have at the time of your text; Emily Grierson, for ex, belongs here), and large land and/or slave owners (exs: Compsons and Sutpens are both Upper Class).

“Middle Class” will mostly be doctors and lawyers and business owners, and their spouses and children.    Most "Middle Class" people, I think, will live in town.

“Lower Class” are whites who work for the first two groups, or farm small farms they own.

“Poor White” characters are typically share-croppers or the hangers on of plantations (I’m thinking of Wash Jones and his granddaughter). 

“Yeoman” we got from the older generation of Faulkner critics, mostly Cleanth Brooks.  It did seem useful for people like the MacCallums, but I’m not sure how often it will be used elsewhere. 

All slaves are “Enslaved Blacks,”

And at least for now, all post-emancipation blacks are “Free Blacks.” 

"Indian Chief," when the text identifies a character that way.

"Indian Tribal Leader," for Native American characters between the rank of Chief and regular members of the tribe.

"Indian Tribal Member," for the remaining Native American characters.

“Multiclass Group” is appropriate when you are entering data on a Group and it is not clear or clearly implied that the Group consists of people from a particular class. For example, "Salesman" (or "Drummers") would probably all be LowerClass, but "Townspeople" would be a Multiclass Group.

"Indeterminable" - another category to use sparingly, but use it when you can find no possible way to assign one of the other labels to a character or group. (The example that came up in our meeting was "UnionSoldier" or "UnionSoldiers" – though I think we can assume that when a Union soldier is identified as an officer, the right choice is "MiddleClass" or even, if he seems sufficiently well-bred, "Upper Class," and when not an officer, "LowerClass."

Again: we can change the options later, and revise the data when we do. Feel free to use the Notes section of this page to note places where you felt the need for better or more categories.

How to handle characters whose Class changes within a text - for ex: Sutpen in Absalom! – is a question we still need to answer. For now, base your decision on how the narrator/larger narrative treats the character, and use "Notes" to call attention to the problem in each case. You can also propose solutions!


Socioeconomic Standing

The intent of this field is to solve some of the frustrations we felt about the simplications imposed by "Class" labels. You won't enter data here for most characters, but when you feel you can and should supplement the Class you chose with information about a Character's property, wealth or status, this provides the means to do that. For ex, while Emily Grierson is "Upper Class," she is also "poor." You can click as many boxes in this field as you find appropriate.



Use pull down menu.

How important is this character in the one story or novel you're editing? 

This is here partly because it seems like a significant distinction in a lot of criticism, and partly to allow users to control how many character icons appear on the map at a time.

Major = a character who plays a very important role in your text.

Secondary = usually a character who has lines of dialogue, takes actions that narrative records, etc, but not Major. 

Minor = appears in scenes, but seldom or never speaks, never acts in ways that are significant to story, etc.

Peripheral = only referred to, but does not directly appear in narrative. 

Ex: I’d say “Colonel Sartoris” is a Major character in The Unvanquished, a Minor one in The Sound and the Fury, and a Peripheral one in “Barn Burning.”  There is lots of possible blurring here, but as long as your editorial team agrees on a rank, we will go with that. 



Use pull down menu.

This refers to the character as he/she appears in the text you’re editing – i.e. Colonel John Sartoris “Dies” in The Unvanquished, and is a “Dead-ghost” in Flags.

I hope you all agree that the Alive-ghost and Dead-ghost options are good ones.  We came up with them to indicate those characters who are not present in texts, either because (like Colonel John) they’re dead, or because (like Caddy Compson) they’ve left Yoknapatawpha before any of the narrative occurs, but while not present, they haunt the characters who are there.  As the narrator says at start of Flags, the dead Colonel somehow seems more real than the two old men (Bayard and Falls) who are talking about him, in the same way that all the Compson brothers keep circling around the idea or memory of their sister.  This seems like a peculiarly Faulknerian phenomenon, one that we should try to recognize in the “data.” 

Most of the other categories seem self-explanatory, except perhaps "Born-and-Dies." Select this for Characters whose birth and death are both narrated in your text. Don't use this when a text simply covers a large enough chronological span for us to be able to assume someone must have been born and must have died inside it, but only when the Character's Birth-and-Death are both actually narrated in your text – for ex, Milly Jones's Unnamed Daughter in "Wash" and Absalom!.



Use pull down menu.

Your choices will look familiar – the Yoknapatawpha families whose genealogies have been charted by many scholars – with this exception: the black families that live with the “big” white families for generations (Struthers with Sartorises, Gibsons with Compsons) I think deserve parity with those white families, so we will include their genealogies in the project too.

Every Character has a family, of course, but here we're trying to capture the ones who are related to the Yoknapatawpha families that recur in multiple texts and generations. This piece of data will enable us, in time, to construct interactive genealogies of those families. If there are families I’ve forgotten to list, please let us know.



Use pull down menu.

Here (with one addition: Crime) we’re using the occupation categories constructed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (I don’t know why they left “Crime” off the list...)  If you’re not sure which category to use for a specific character, go to the BLS index for help  (

This is only for characters who get paid for what they do.  Neither slaves nor, say, housewives have an Occupation.  You can use “Farming,” though, if you think it’s appropriate, for farm women, and even children on small farms.

This is the way users will be able to search the data for “how do the people of Yoknapatawpha make their living,” i.e. how many get it from the land, like planters and farmers, how many from professions, etc. etc.  We had to come up with a short enough list to make searching possible, but there is clearly a difference between the way a Planter makes money and the way a Share cropper does, so that’s the logic of the next item:


Specific Job

For characters who get paid for what they do: enter whatever terms your team agrees on.  For example, Simon Struthers is “Domestic Service” under Occupation, but here you can specific Carriage Driver, or lots more; Dr. Peabody is “Professional” above, but here you can specify Doctor, or Physician, etc.

For characters who don’t earn any kind of salary, but whose work you want to make part of the record we’re creating: again, say what seems appropriate.  “Housekeeping,” for example, or “Spouse” (I certainly think marriage to Flem is “work” for Eula).

For the sake of project consistency, please capitalize all the Key Words in your entry.

Once all the teams have entered data, we’ll aggregate the terms that appear in this field and see if we can generate a list that way, or if it's better to let each editorial team use their own words.


*First Appearance

Use pull down menu.

Here you identify the Location at which the character is first introduced into the narrative.  That Location has to already exist on the Locations Key, which explains why each team should start entering data with Locations, then (2) Characters, then (3) Events...

“Introduced into the narrative” means “referred to by narrator, or other characters,” as well as “directly present in the scene.”  Ex: in Flags, Johnny (Young John) Sartoris is mentioned by his brother and uncle at the Sartoris Plantation, so that is where he “first appears.”

When users ask site to Display Characters on the map, the First Appearance field decides where the icon for each character will appear (unless user asks to see Characters displayed by the next field, i.e. “Home”).



Use pull down menu.

Where the character lives, if known. For most characters this won’t be known, but when text does establish that, the “Home” function will allow users to ask the map to display where the various characters in a text live. Exs: Old Bayard and Simon (both of whom "first appear" in Flags at the Bank) are "at home" on the Sartoris plantation; also in Flags, Rafe MacCallum first appears in Courthouse Square, but he lives with his father and brothers at the MacCallum Place.

It’s interesting to note what kind of characters have established residences in Faulkner’s fiction.


Date of Birth

Enter data here only if text allows you to provide a birth date within a specific range.  There are many possible legitimate clues – tombstones, or character’s age or stage of life is mentioned, or (for recurrent characters) birth date is mentioned in another text and seems dependable, or we’re told character was born “before the war” or “when his parents were old,” etc etc.  If you feel you have a good basis for providing a DoB, please do so; I can imagine useful searches for “all Faulkner characters born like him at the end of 19th century,” etc.  But for many characters there is no such textual basis, in which case you simply leave this blank. 

I apologize in advance for how un-intuitive the entry system here is, but we were stuck with the options Drupal gives us. 

(1) If you know someone’s precise birthdate, just enter it in the box, being sure to use the specified format: yyyy-mm-dd.  (Ex: Benjy Compson was born 1895-04-07.)

But Faulkner seldom gives us a precise birthdate, or even a birth year.  In that case,

check “Show End Date.”  This will open up an additional box, so you can provide a date range.  (Note: the second box is not for a death date:  “end” means “end of the range of possible birth dates.”)

(2) If you can date a birth to a particular month – say December 1910 -- range is 1910-12-01 in first box, followed by 1910-12-31 in second.  This will display for users as “December 1910,” but search functions require us to enter the data in a certain way. 

(3) If you can only narrow it down to a specific year, use yyyy-01-01 and yyyy-12-31.  (Ex: John Sartoris was born in 1823, so in first box you enter 1823-01-01, and in second box, 1823-12-31.)

(4) Multiple years follow same format – i.e. 1834-01-01 and 1836-12-31 would mean (and will be displayed to users as) “1834-1836.”  There are obviously a lot of characters for whom you’ll need to use a very wide range, but that’s okay.



If known, where a character was born, or lived before coming to Yoknapatawpha.  I’m not sure what options are best categories here, so for the time being narrow it down as much as possible – i.e. Massachusetts, if story makes the state clear; North, if that’s as specific as story gets; England, or Europe; etc., or even just “Out of Yoknapatawpha,” if that’s the most you can say.  And if this is a local man or woman, someone your story makes it clear was born in Yoknapatawpha, enter “Yoknapatawpha.”

(I’ve been assuming almost all the “Negro” characters – except the slaves identified as coming with owners to Yoknapatawpha, or bought in New Orleans, etc. – are local, but this is something we can talk about.)

Put whatever place term seems most appropriate to you, and at the end of the year we’ll collect all the examples and see if we can organize them into a usable list.

For many characters we won’t have a legitimate basis for identifying a place of origin, but when we do, it’s worth recording.  I can imagine a scholar wanting to know “how many Yankees appear in all Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha fiction?” and it’s certainly interesting to note how many of the major characters in Light in August are not originally from Yoknapatawpha – so I hope we can arrive at the right way to enter all that can be known about that kind of topic.


Cause of Death

Use pull down menu.

But enter something here only if  you entered "Dead," "Dies," or "Dead-ghost" under the Vitality field above.  Don't enter anything for characters who die in a different text, after the one you're working on (ex: Mrs. Compson dies in the “Appendix: Compson,” but is – alas – very much alive in The Sound and the Fury).


Ontological Status

Use pull down menu.

Apologies for the name of this field. It replaces the earlier "Real?" with a more supple way to identify those Characters for whose existence it's not appropriate to assume that "Faulkner" is accountable - i.e. they appear in Yoknapatawpha, but have their origin in reality (like Babe Ruth) or a text Faulkner didn't write (like the Bible), or spring from the imaginations of characters in the text. You won't use this field very often, but when it's appropriate your choices are:

Historical/Real = Ulysses S. Grant as well as Babe Ruth, etc.

Literary/Mythic/Biblical = for a Character who exists in a non-Faulknerian text of any kind (the one clear example that occurs to me for this category is the "Prince," i.e. Satan, in The Hamlet, along with his demons; since they are given lines to speak, etc, they have to be entered as Characters, though how we'll locate their First Appearance on our map is a question that will take some creativity to answer!) .

Created by a Character in Text = the easiest way to "explain" this option is probably the Lawyer in Absalom!. Quentin and Shreve interpolate him into the Sutpen story, but there is no evidence that he exists outside their version of the past (there's a neat moment on the Faulkner at Virginia tapes when he himself is asked if this Lawyer "actually existed or Quentin and Shreve made him up," and admits his own uncertainty.

Note 1: A number of the "Historical" and "Literary" people who are named in the texts should not be entered as Characters; see the EXCEPTION described under the heading "Who is a Character?" in the Instructions for Characters. Note 2: this field should not be used for characters for whom real people have been identified as the “originals,” such as Colonel Falkner/Colonel Sartoris, etc.  Though in time we might very well want to create a way to include that kind of data in our system.



Use pull down menu – IF and only if the character you’re working on is the source of some part of the text you’re working on, i.e. serves as a source of the narrative at some point, at least.  In Flags, for example, the third-person narrative gives way at a couple points to a stream-of-consciousness narrative of Horace Benbow’s thoughts.  But this category does not include indirect representation of a character’s thoughts; source for that would still be the third-person narrator.



Check all the boxes that apply IF and only if the character of the Character you’re working on is strongly associated with one or more disabilities.  There will be many ambiguous cases here, I think - is Old Bayard in Flags deaf enough to be clinically labeled "audio impaired"? or just deaf enough not to have to hear Jennie when she scolds him? In this case I'd check that box, because the very first description of him (and Will Falls) calls attention to their "deafness," and that part of his character repeatedly comes up in the rest of the narrative. Darl in As I Lay Dying is almost certainly "psychosocially impaired," which is the term we'll use for "mad" or "crazy," but is Vardaman too? I think the ultimate criterion we should use in deciding when to check a box here, and which to check, is our sense of whether Faulkner wants us to identify a character with a particular (set of) disability(ies).

There are ethical reasons to be uncomfortable with the kinds of judgments we have to make in the case of this field, but disabilities are so important in so many Faulkner texts, and so many readers associate his fiction with this characteristic, that we need the category. The terms we're using are ones used in contemporary disability studies. When we create a "user's manual" for the whole DY project, we'll probably want to include a kind of glossary which can connect these terms to the vocabulary Faulkner and his characters used - where Benjy, for ex, is a "natural," not a "cognitively disabled person."



This too is a category saturated with sources of ambiguity and discomfort, but again, the idea of an ethnic "us" and various ethnic "thems" seems an inescapable component of Faulkner's Modernist sensibility. In a truly egalitarian cosmos, if anyone has an ethnicity, then everyone has one. But we're interested in capturing the world Faulkner's imagination created, which seems, for ex, to have more than some sympathy with Quentin when, walking through urban Boston, he thinks to himself "land of the kike home of the wop," or with Aunt Jenny when she walks into her dining room and almost instinctively recognizes that Narcissa's visitor is both a "Yankee" and a "Jew." So (as with Disability) here you should only use this category to note when a character is marked in the narrative by a marked kind of ethnic "Otherness."

There is no list of "ethnic types" for you to choose from - yet. When you want to note a particular character's ethnicity, use your own critical judgment about what word(s) to put in the box. After we've been doing this for a year or two, we'll create a list of choices from the words we've come up with together this way, and revise the entered data accordingly. (By the way, I wouldn't say "Yankee" is an ethnicity. But for the man Jenny is reacting to, I would definitely put "The North" in the "Origin" box - and "Jewish" in the "Ethnicity" one. Black or Indian racial "otherness" is not an ethnic difference either, nor would I say that in Faulkner's world Shreve's "Canadian-ness" is an ethnic category - though "Mexican" certainly could be. But we need to work this out together, so feel free to raise questions about particular cases - that's one good use for our new wiki.)


Other Texts

Try to list all the other Faulkner texts the character appears in.  I use the various guides to Faulkner to help out my memory here, especially the list at the back of Cleanth Brooks’ book.

But don’t spend too much time trying to make absolutely sure you haven’t overlooked anything – this is another of the fields which we can ask the technology to help populate, once we have entered all the Yoknapatawpha fiction into Drupal...



I hope these will be fun to write.  At least the category allows you to use your own words, rather than data values!  This prose description is the first thing users will see whenever they click on a character icon, so write it with that rhetorical situation in mind.  But also keep in mind that we can’t control the order in which they choose characters to click on, so each entry has to be complete in itself.  (I.e. if you were doing “Barn Burning,” it might be confusing to call Lizzie “Lennie’s sister,” since a user won’t necessarily have clicked on Lennie first; it would be clearer to say “Lennie Snopes’ sister” or perhaps “Flem Snopes’ sister-in-law and Sarty’s aunt”)

At the same time, entries should be concise (the popup box displays about 200 words, though users can scroll to read a longer passage, if you feel you need to say more than the box will hold). 

The Biography should focus on the character as he or she appears in the text you’re editing, but this is a place where you can also indicate how character shows up in other fictions.  For example, a bio of Jenny Du Pre in Flags could mention that she is the “queen” in the short story “There Was a Queen,” or that Flem Snopes is “one of the central characters in the larger Yoknapatawpha saga,” etc.  But the Biography of Flem in a particular story is not the place to go into detail about who “the Snopeses” are, or what that family represents in the larger canon, unless that issue is a major theme in the story you’re editing.

You don’t have to list here all the other texts in which a character appears, though, because users will see that data via the previous category.

As with Locations, in the first round of data entering, editors often focused these Biographies on narrative more than character, on what a character does in the story rather than who he/she is.  Summing up a character’s role is fine, but going into detail about actions isn’t appropriate here; that kind of information will be entered in the Events category.  Here, try to keep focus on who Characters are.


Please ignore the “Edit Summary” link.  That’s a feature of Drupal we can’t disable, but we’re not using.



All the data you’ve entered in the various fields above will, I have no doubt, be useful to future users of our project.  But as I said in the general comment on Characters, there’s still a lot of creative thinking that we need to do about what other kinds of data we should try to capture for Faulkner’s characters.  So I want you to use this “Notes” field as a kind of scratch pad.  Think about what else those future users – whether they are high school teachers, college students, dissertating graduate students, publishing scholars in American studies, English, history, etc – might want to search for, and also what the particular character you’re working on now brings to mind, and make all the comments you can or want to about what is not captured by the existing data fields. Examples could include such traits as "religiosity" or "education," etc.

My thinking on this has gotten me as far as wanting to create a list of key words or phrases, which might provide basis for a new data field, or, conversely, we might want users to have access to a lookup table of such key words that they can search by.  In either case, I suggest we start by using this “Notes” box at least to enter any and all searchable terms that come to mind and seem significant enough to keep thinking about.  For example, Benjy Compson’s “Notes” section might include:

“organizing point of view, handicapped (mentally retarded, mute), wounded (castrated), childlike, Christian symbolism (33 years old), renamed,” etc etc

If all of us spend some time generating such lists for each character in the story, we can aggregate the results and have a great basis for improving Character data by leaps and bounds.


Once you’ve made any “Notes” you want, your Characters work is done (at least for the time being!). You can ignore everything on this page below "Notes."


Instructions for Events Data Entry


What is an event?

First of all, our goal here is not to summarize or paraphrase a story’s plot, The first groups of editors felt a strong pull in this direction.  However, we don’t want students to see our project as a substitute for reading Faulkner, a kind of high-tech cliff notes.  Our goal is to give users new modes of appreciating, exploring, interrogating Faulkner as they read the texts. 


So “Event” is not “Plot summary.”  But among those first groups of editors there was quite a bit of disagreement about what else it might be, leading to a lot of inconsistency.  We used the Faulkner&Yoknapatawpha symposium in July 2012 as an occasion to discuss this issue, and reached came up with the consensus definition you'll read here.  We can always talk in the future about revising the definition, but until we reach a new consensus together, please abide by the current one.


At the fundamental level: any continuous scene in a text is one Event, no matter how many pages long it is.  But “continuous” is not a self-evident term.  I’d say 1 setting, 1 unbroken length of time, 1 main focus and 1 narrative style is 1 continuous Event.  When we did the data for Flags, for example, we decided the entire week that Bayard spends at the MacCallums’ is 1 Event, but others could decide “a new day” in such a case makes a new Event. 

There are many potential ways to define “not-continuous.”  We agreed that shifts in time should be noted as new Events – i.e. in Flags, when after the narrator has described Sartoris family sitting together at Christmas, 1869, Aunt Jenny begins telling the story of how Carolina Bayard was shot in 1862, a new Event (with a new Location, Date, etc) begins.  Since dramatizing the interpenetration of past with present is one of Faulkner’s most recognizable preoccupations, probably every time shift should be flagged as a separate Event – i.e. not just when a character tells a story about the past, but when a character telling about a scene in the past is interrupted by someone in the present, then goes back to the story after the interruption (that would be two separate Events - the interruption and the resumption of the story), or whenever a character has a memory, no matter how brief a space on the page it occupies.  Or, in some cases, arrival or departure of a specific character at or from a scene might need to be flagged as “different Event.”

Similarly, changes in narrative technique can also be flagged at new Events, as when in Flags, the third-person omniscient is disrupted by those sudden “stream-of-consciousness” moments giving reader direct access to Horace’s thoughts. 

The number of Locations we can have for any one text is limited by the fact that all Locations show up as icons on our maps, and too many too close together will become unusable. But theoretically there is no limit to how finely you can break a text into separate Events. Practically, on the other hand, there is the amount of work involved in creating and entering each Event - which of course you'll have to do. And, Events also display on the maps, as those splashes that fade as new Events occur, so there is a reason not to multiply the number of them indefinitely – i.e. we don’t want to visually overwhelm users.  That is something to consider as you decide on how many Events your story should be broken into, but it is not the only thing to consider.  For now you should use your judgment as a team, come up with a rationale that you can share with the rest of us at some point in the future, and then make sure you apply those criteria consistently throughout your text.


NOTE: You should enter Events data only after you’ve done both the Locations and Character databases, because some of the entries here have to draw on those.


*Asterisks mean you must enter data for this field.



Use pull down menu.  Select the story you’re editing.


*Page Number

The page number on which the scene/episode/memory begins. 

Reminder: use Collected Stories or Uncollected Stories or the Vintage International paperback editions of the novels ("Corrected by Noel Polk") as source texts.  Ex: first page of “Spotted Horses” is 165 (from Uncollected Stories).


*Order within page

Note that default setting is “1,” so if no other Event begins on the same page as the Event you’re adding, you don’t do a thing here.

But if 2 or more Events begin on this one page, you must enumerate them as 1, 2, 3 etc, in the order they appear.  This enables the animation to play the first event on page X before the second event of that page, etc.


*First 8-10 words of event

This provides users with a different edition with a way to identify the Events.  Don’t use quotation marks, unless the words you’re entering are in quotation marks in text.


*Page Event Ends

I think this is self-explanatory, but I’ll just add: this page number should line up with “page next event begins” (i.e. don’t begin an Event inside the page numbers of another one).



Use pull down menu.  Select the location of this Event from the LocationsKey.

This is one reason why you should enter Locations and Character data before doing Events.  If you haven’t already created the Location, you won’t be able to complete the Event entry.


*Characters Present

List here every character who is physically present within this Event, whether they speak or explicitly act. Even if they are not explicitly named in the passage, but you have no doubt they are "present" (as the Bundrens, for ex, are together on the wagon carrying Addie's body), list them. But note: if Jenny is talking in 1869 to 3 Sartorises in Mississippi then begins telling a story about Carolina Bayard getting killed in the Civil War in Virginia, the Mississippi Sartorises are not "present" in the Event of the 1862 story, only the people on that Virginia battleground.

Each character gets his/her own box; use “Add another item” for each additional character.

For each character, type in by the DisplayName you entered on Character data form; as you type, you should see the correct name displayed as a choice.  This will give you a way to check for completeness and consistency too – if you don’t see the name you’re trying to enter appear, either (1) you haven’t yet created the entry for this Character, so stop and do that now, or (2) you typed the name differently when you created the Character data.

(And please just ignore “show row weights” – I have no idea what it means, but Drupal won’t let us erase it.)


*Characters Mentioned

List here the characters who are referred to within the Event, but not physically present (ex: “Colonel Sartoris” is mentioned in the legal scene at start of “Barn Burning,” so is “Mentioned” in the Event). You will enter each Character Mentioned one at a time, as in the previous field.


*Narrative Status

Who/what is responsible as the source of this Event? 

“Narrated” = a third- or first-person narrator.  (Ex: when Bayard describes Col. Sartoris escaping from the Yankees in The Unvanquished, it is narrated.) 

“Told” = a character in the novel or story is telling the event to other(s). (Ex: when Old Man Falls describes the same escape in Flags in the Dust, it is told. (You can indicate who is "telling" these kinds of Events by beginning your Summary of the Event with a phrase like "Old Man Falls tells the story of . . . " or "Will Falls tells Bayard about . . ." etc.)

“Remembered” = readers are seeing the event as a character is remembering it in his/her mind, whether you think the event “really” happened or not.  (Ex: Quentin’s conversations with his father in The Sound and the Fury are remembered.) You can indicate who is doing the remembering by beginning your Summary with something like "Quentin remembers . . ."

“Hypothesized” = a character or characters are constructing a possible version of what happened.  I don’t like this label (if you think of a better one, please let me know), but we need a category for, for example, all that speculative narrative reconstruction that goes on in Absalom! You can indicate who is responsible for this possible Event by beginning Summary with something like "Quentin and Shreve speculate" or "theorize" or "hypothesize," etc.

"Narrated+Consciousness" = Choose this for those times when Faulkner combines third-person and stream-of-consciousness narrative techniques in a single paragraph. I think most such Events occur in Light in August, as in the novel's very first paragraph: "Sitting beside the road...Lena thinks, "I have come from Alabama...' Thinking although I have not been..." (By the way, with this kind of Event I'd include "Style:Italics" and "Style:Present_Tense" in the Keywords.) But there are several such places, where omniscient narrative gives way to the direct representation of a character's thoughts, in Flags as well. (Stream-of-consciousness narrative, i.e. the first 3 sections of Sound and Fury or all the chapters of As I Lay Dying, should be identified as Narrated, unless a character is Remember-ing an earlier event inside the stream-of-consciousness passage - who said Faulkner was easy?)



This is the same awkward procedure as assigning DateOfBirth on the Character data, and again I apologize for how un-intuitive the entry system here is.  (The future scholars who search our data, though, will bless your work!)  

If you know the date of an event precisely, just enter it in the box, being sure to use the specified format.  I.e. the date of the event “Sutpen and Henry quarrel about Bon and Henry renounces his birthright” goes in the box you see on the form, as 12-24-1860.

If you do not know the specific day, check “Show End Date,” which will open up an additional box, so you can provide a range within which the event fell. 

If you can date it to a particular month, say December 1909 when Quentin comes home for Christmas, range is 12-01-1909 in first box, followed by 12-31-1909 in second.  This will display for users as “December 1909,” but unfortunately you cannot simply enter the data that way. 

If you can only narrow it down to a specific year, use 01-01-xxxx and 12-31-xxxx.  Multiple years follow same format – i.e. 01-01-1834 and 12-31-1836 would mean (and will be displayed to users as) “1834-1836.” 

This is one of those places where we have to submit to the technology, but in the long term will mean someone could ask our project to show “everything that ever happens in Yoknapatawpha in chronological order,” which I for one am looking forward to seeing!


Chronological Order

Don't start entering this until after you've created all the Events in your text. Once you've done that, you go through them and identify the order in which they happen chronologically (as opposed to the order in which they appear narratively; i.e. date of event vs page number as ordering principle). For ex: in The Sound and the Fury Event#1, chronologically, is probably the scene where Benjy remembers being down at the branch the day Damuddy died. Event#2 is the next scene from that afternoon/evening, etc.


Earliest Event is number 1, next is 2, etc. Start with whole numbers, but we've set Drupal up to read decimal intervals (i.e. 1.1, 1.11, 1.2, etc), so if you leave one or more out the first time you won't have to renumber the whole list – if it occurs chronologically between your 4th and 5th Events, you can identify it as 4.5, etc.


Drupal can help (up to a point) with this process. If you (1) go to Events, (2) use the Apply button to select just the Events in your text, then (3) click on the Date category, the Events will be resorted according to the dates you assigned them, oldest to newest. But you'll still have to decide the exact order yourself. In some cases you may have to rely on your informed judgment to decide which of several parallel Events comes earlier, but that's okay.


You'll be able to check to see that you included all your Events by looking at the Chronological Order column on the Drupal-Events page.



Use pull down menu, where you’ll find the chronological parameters for each Era.

If you’re not certain, pick the most likely time frame. 

This piece of data will allow users to ask the site to display, for example, “everything in all the Yoknapatawpha fictions that occurs during the Civil War” – which I am also looking forward to seeing.



Here you'll write in a brief synopsis of "what happens" in the Event. Remember that we don't want our project to provide students with a kind of electronic cliff's notes, i.e. Summaries should not provide substitutes for reading Faulkner's text. Keep them short, just long enough to jog the memory of someone who has read the text.



We're going to start with a text box here. Each team will fill it with all the relevant Keywords they agree on for each Event. Once we've seen what teams come up with, we'll turn the words into a "controlled vocabulary" so that we can be consistent about terms across texts and groups. A "controlled" list means that at some point in the future you'll only be able to type in words that are in that vocabulary. (We'll also be able to expand and revise the vocabulary as the project moves forward, and we will certainly want to.)


Attaching useful and consistent Keywords to each Event is going to require a lot of work. But in the project's long run, it may turn out to be the most valuable contribution DY makes to Faulkner studies. If we can create a rich and supple enough database, scholars and students will be able to query the entire Yoknapatawpha at one time: for ex, a scholar writing on an issue like "racial violence" or "environmental degradation" in Faulkner could use Keywords like "violence" and "race," "land use" and "farming," to locate all the scenes in the stories and novels that might be relevant to such analyses. Keywords should be conceived in terms of both "what goes on in Faulkner's fiction?" and "what kinds of questions will our users want to ask our database?"


While you're thinking about what Keywords you want to create for each Event, it might help to break the possibilities down into subsets, so here's a potential list of categories of Event Keywords, with just a few examples of each:

  Environment (twilight, drought, kitchen, Civil War, woods, urban......)

  Actions (drinking, cooking, eating, moving, fighting, sex.....)

  Emotions (anxiety, desire, fear, shame, rage.....)

  Cultural issues (religion, race, gender, slavery.....)

  Relations (family, father-and-son, fellow-workers, fellow-congregants.....)

  Themes and motifs (time, past-in-present, violence, return-from-war, meaning, honor.....)

  Aesthetics (italics, long sentences, Biblical or literary allusions......)

  Other (anything that you think is important to have, but doesn't seem to fit into any of these subsets; for example, here's where we could begin creating a database of animals in WF, so you could say "dog," or "deer"; or objects ["family heirloom"], etc. SPECIAL NOTE: If the Event is primarily or powerfully organized as a form of movement, use "Movement" as one of its Keywords, and add the means of moving, i.e. "Movement-wagon," "Movement-foot," "Movement-car," etc. In time we will try to animate movement on the maps, and this keyword will help us identify each instance of it.


Two issues about Keywords that remain unresolved: What is the appropriate level of granularity we should aspire to? I.e. do we want to say "drought," or "weather"? "Civil War" or "war"? I think we should always strive to walk an invisible line between (1) how much detail it would be great to let users choose from, and (2) the realistic limits on the amount of time and energy each of us can spend entering data for this project. Rather than trying to work this out in advance, each team should create Keywords according to whatever standard feels right to you – once we have the lists, we'll see how much revision we need to do to get some kind of consistency across teams and texts.


Do we want to use categories like "Environment" or "Aesthetics" in the public version of this? i.e. should our eventual user community (students, teachers, scholars and critics) be able to SEARCH by these subsets of keywords? My own feeling is that we won't need to, and shouldn't; that it will be enough to give users the complete list of Keywords they can use as search terms. But we can discuss other possibilities later. In the meantime, I'm simply providing the subsets now as a way to encourage teams to think in different directions about what might be included in the keywords you generate for each event.


And from the lists we've generated so far, one issue that's going to require a lot of work by all of us is consistency. The power of this resource depends on consistent aggregation across all the texts. If only one team, for ex, enters animal keywords, a search for, say, "animals" or "horses" will not only be a lot less valuable; it will be extremely misleading, because it will seem that "horses" only appear in that one text. I know that in practice aggregation will often mean aggravation, or at least a lot of work. But one way to work toward our goal is for each team to look at the keywords in other project texts as you develop the keywords for your Events.




Use this field like a scratch pad, or the blank canvas of the conceptual future of our project.   Use it to note anything about an Event, or Events in general, that you wanted to enter into the database but couldn't.


Please ignore the “Edit Summary” link.  That’s a feature of Drupal we can’t disable, but we’re not using.