Mr. Buffaloe|Bullock's House (Location Key)


Jefferson gets its first automobile in about 1905, about the same time cars began appearing on the American landscape - and about halfway through the long history recorded by the Yoknawpatawpha fictions. The fictions don't register that event until the last four novels, but it's a sign of Faulkner's increased interest in the larger story of Yoknapatawpha in the last decade of his career that the event is mentioned in all four. It's also a sign of the way Faulkner kept re-creating and revising 'the larger story of Yoknapatawpha' almost every time he returned to it, as the details of this event change in three of them. In Requiem for a Nun, the first of those last four novels, Jefferson's first "gasoline buggy" is made part by part by an "ex blacksmith's-apprentice" in his "back yard on the edge of town" (190). In The Town, the man who makes this "first automobile" by hand gets a name, Mr. Buffaloe, and a different job: now he's the city electrician. The reference to the first car in The Mansion (37) doesn't revise that version of the story, but in Faulkner's last novel, The Reivers, the man gets a new name, Bullock, and his place "on the edge of town" is much more elaborately described. Buffaloe turns one of his outbuildings, which "would have been a horse- or cow-barn" on anyone else's property (27), into Jefferson's first "garage" (32), and after the mayor passes an ordinance "against the operation of any mechanically-propelled vehicle inside the corporate limits" of Jefferson, he turns "an area of open land behind his house" into a "motor drome" where he can continue to drive the car he built (30). Despite the ordinance, the automobile soon becomes a fact of modern life in the town.

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Mr. Buffaloe|Bullock's House
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Mr. Buffaloe|Bullock's House