"Race at Morning" (Text Key 4676)

short story

The immediate precipitant for the story was the cost of Jill Faulkner's wedding in August 1954. A month afterwards her father wrote his stepson to say that he had "just finished a hunting story Post should buy, maybe $2000.00, am happy to be earning again." It has obvious connections to the hunting stories Faulkner told in Go Down, Moses (1942). Although its tone is comic rather than epic-elegiac, "Race at Morning" is like "The Bear" in being about an extraordinary chase after an old adversary on the last day of the season. Most of the story's hunters are the same Yoknapatawpha men who went on the novel's annual hunts - Walter Ewell, Roth Edmonds, Will Legate, Ike McCaslin. And the two major new characters, from the Delta region where the hunt takes place, are cast in the familiar roles of surrogate father and man-in-training that were earlier played by Sam Fathers and Ike. The surrogate father's name - Mister Ernest - suggests the possibility that Faulkner also wanted imaginatively to link the story to Ernest Hemingway, who had just won the Nobel Prize (five years after Faulkner), largely on the basis of his great "hunting" story, The Old Man and the Sea (1952). The ending of Faulkner's story, however, is much more optimistic than either his novel, or Hemingway's novella.

Faulkner was right about The Saturday Evening Post, which bought the story for $2500 and published it on 5 March 1955. Faulkner revised it slightly for his 1955 collection Big Woods. Joseph Blotner reprinted the Post version of the story in his edition of the Uncollected Stories, which is the basis for our representation of it here.

First Publisher: 
The Saturday Evening Post
First Publisher Date: 
March 1955
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Vintage International
Edit Copy Publisher Location: 
New York
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How to cite this resource:
Coleman, Robert, and Stephen Railton. "Faulkner's 'Race at Morning.'" Added to the project: 2016.  Additional editing 2018: Robert Coleman, and Stephen Railton.  Digital Yoknapatawpha, University of Virginia, http://faulkner.iath.virginia.edu