Jefferson Library (Location Key)


There is no bookstore in Jefferson, and only one mention of a public library in any of the fictions. The county library is mentioned in the "Appendix" that Faulkner wrote for The Sound and the Fury. Its account refers to several of the books on the library shelves by name or at least by type: "Forever Amber" and "Jurgen and Tom Jones," and various "volumes of Thorne Smith" (333). With the exception of Fielding's Tom Jones, the 18th century English novel, these works are by 20th century American novelists who could be considered competitors of Faulkner's for the attention of the reading public; all of them were notorious for their representation of sex - although by our 21st century standards they are quite mild. Melissa Meek, the librarian, continually tries to keep this fare "out of the hands of high school juniors and seniors"; the other patrons who are mentioned are "matrons, wives of the bankers and doctors and lawyers," who check out and return these kinds of books "wrapped from view in sheets of Memphis and Jackson newspapers" (333).

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