Memphis Junction|Junction-Point|Tennessee Junction (Location Key)


The map of Yoknapatawpha that Faulkner drew for Absalom! in 1936 includes an arrow pointing north beyond the county "To Memphis Junction." Typically, a "junction" is a point where several railroad lines meet or cross, and so where one could change trains to travel in a new direction. In the real world Faulkner's derives from, the place where travelers from Oxford changed trains to get to Memphis was Holly Springs, Mississippi. In one text, Sanctuary, Horace Benbow changes trains at a station with that name, and "Holly Springs" has its own entry in this index. Here we gather together the places from other texts that function in the same way: the "junction-point" mentioned in "Hair" (143), the "Tennessee Junction" where Bayard and Ringo meet Jenny in The Unvanquished (235), and the "Junction" or the "Memphis Junction" referred to in The Mansion (313, 37), which we assume is also the "Junction" within "thirty miles of Jefferson" that Mink Snopes passes through much later in the novel (435). Mink is riding in a truck, not a train, and after forty years in the penitentiary is astonished to see the blacktop highway buzzing with traffic in that place (435) - but that road traffic indicates how cars and trucks have replaced passenger trains. (See also the entries for "Division Town" in Light in August, and "Parsham Inset" in The Reivers; it's possible that in Faulkner's mind these Locations are versions of this same junction town - though that's more likely in the first case than the second.)

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