Joe Buffaloe|Mr. Bullock

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Joe Buffaloe|Mr. Bullock
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Joe Buffaloe|Mr. Bullock
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The local man who built Yoknapatawpha's first automobile in his "back yard on the edge of town" appears in Faulkner's last four novels. That quotation is from Requiem for a Nun, where he is unnamed but described vividly as "a grease-covered man with the eyes of a visionary monk" (190). In the last two novels of the Snopes trilogy he is named Buffaloe. The Town identifies him as the "city electrician" and a "genius" who "in 1904 . . . drove out of his backyard into the street in the first automobile we had ever seen, made by hand completely" (12). In The Reivers he is named Bullock. That novel gives the most narrative attention to his achievement. When a stranger drives into Jefferson in the first car ever seen in the town, Bullock takes it apart "to find out why it ran" (28) and a year later builds one himself. When it is banned from the streets, he converts "an area of open land behind his house" into "a fair motordrome," or test track, where he can continue to drive it (30). An "apparently inexhaustible reservoir of surprises and capabilities," he pulls a gun when Boon attempts to take that first car away from him (28).