Road North from Jefferson (Location Key)


Faulkner's first Yoknapatawpha fiction, Flags in the Dust, calls the road that heads north from Jefferson the "valley road" (132). It is often traveled in Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha fictions, as the way to Oxford (in Flags), Memphis (in The Reivers) and the large estates on the rich land north of Jefferson, like the Sartoris and Backus-Harriss plantations. The narrator of Flags describes it as "smooth . . . and winding" (142), as it descends from the town, crosses the valley with "cultivated fields" along both sides, then rises into the "shimmering hills" to the north (218). In "Knight's Gambit" it is "still just a country road" in 1940, graveled but not paved. The description of it in that short story is particularly rich: "And it (the road) was older than gravel too, running back into the old time of simple dirt red and curving among the hills, then straight and black where the rich land flattened, alluvial and fertile; niggard in width since the land was too rich, too fecund in corn and cotton, to allow room for men to pass one another almost, marked only by the thin iron of carriage- and wagon-rims and the open O's of horses and mules" (241). (The north-south road on the southern side of Jefferson has a different entry in this index: "Road between Jefferson and Mottstown.")

Display Name: 
Road North from Jefferson
Sort Name: 
Road North from Jefferson