In this last novel, written a couple years after Faulkner finished the Snopes trilogy, the family is much diminished. Mink, who is so vivid in The Mansion, is simply the "mad kinsman" who murdered Flem "ten or twelve years ago" (25). And in the novel's one mention of him, Flem himself figures mainly as an element in the history of a Jefferson hotel. The narrative does mention that Flem led "his tribe out of the wilderness behind Frenchman's Bend, into town" - a locution that recalls the "Father Abraham" manuscript and the way Flem first appears in the published fiction, in Flags in the Dust, bringing his "blood and legal kin . . . into town." But in that first mention the new phenomenon of Snopeses is seen by the townspeople with "something like consternation." Here all trace of Snopeses are gone as soon as someone else buys the hotel, as if Mink's rage and Flem's death at the end of the trilogy have exorcised the threat of "Snopesism" from Faulkner's world.

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