Magazine Illustrations


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The first visualizations of Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha fictions were the illustrations drawn to accompany the publication of his short stories in magazines like The Saturday Evening Post, Scribner's and Collier's, the large circulation periodicals that Faulkner regularly submitted work to in his quest for income. Although Faulkner occasionally worked directly with the magazines' editors to revise a story, there is no evidence that he had any control over - or even interest in - the way these magazines illustrated his texts. The illustrations can, however, help us appreciate the way Faulkner's world, and the people of different races and classes who inhabit it, appeared to his original readers.

The following items are drawn from the William Faulkner Foundation Collection at the University of Virginia's Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library (
Click on any image to see an enlargement.

“Red Leaves”

W.D.H. Koerner did all three of the illustrations for the Post's publication of "Red Leaves," which was both Faulkner's first fiction about the Indians of Yoknapatawpha and also his first sustained though indirect representation of slavery - indirect, because although the suffering of the slave who tries to escape to freedom is very moving, the story's slave owners are themselves non-white. This context makes the culturally iconic moments Koerner depicts - a fugitive slave in a swamp, a group of slaves in the quarters - less familiar, yet at the same time perhaps more reassuring to the Post's white subscribers.

Page 6, 25 October 1930 Saturday Evening Post     Page 7, 25 October 1930 Saturday Evening Post

      Citing this source:
Stephen Railton, "Illustrating 'Red Leaves,'" Digital Yoknapatawpha, University of Virginia,   (Date added to project: 2018)
Illustrations © The Saturday Evening Post.