Old Man’s Birthplace (Location Key)


The map Faulkner drew for Malcolm Cowley's 1946 collection of his work, The Portable Faulkner, includes a caption (but not an actual location) in the southeast corner of Yoknapatawpha for "OLD MAN Here was born the convict & grew a man & sinned & was transported for the rest of his life to pay for it." Faulkner knew Cowley's selection of texts included the "Old Man" chapters from The Wild Palms. He clearly sought to put all the fictions in The Portable on the map he was making, but there is no mention of either the convict's birth or Yoknapatawpha in the story, nor does the other narrative in The Wild Palms have any connection to Yoknapatawpha. So the text is not in Digital Yoknapatawpha nor his birthplace on any of the maps created for the project, but since one of Faulkner's two maps of his mythical county mentions "Old Man" as one of the seventeen texts it plots, we include this entry in the index. We do include the short story "Death Drag," the other text in Cowley's collection with problematic credentials as a Yoknapatawpha fiction, but for two reasons. First, the unnamed town in that story could be Jefferson. More importantly, in the novella "Knight's Gambit," written soon after Cowley's book appeared, Faulkner goes out of his way to add the World War I veteran Captain Warren, one of the major characters in "Death Drag," to the census of Yoknapatawpha characters, with a farm a few miles outside Jefferson. He never does anything similar to bring "Old Man" or the convict into the Yoknapatawpha saga.

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Old Man’s Birthplace
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Old Man’s Birthplace