"Spotted Horses" (Text Key 245)

short story

The composition history of "Spotted Horses" is complex and a bit elusive. The account of the horse auction forms the bulk of the uncompleted "Father Abraham" manuscript; written in late 1926 or early 1927, this was Faulkner's earliest representation of Yoknapatawpha and its inhabitants. Over the next four years he rewrote the tale several times, from several different narrative points of view, and submitted it to magazines under several different titles, including "As I Lay Dying" and "Aria Con Amore." Early in 1931 Scribner's Magazine accepted it, but wanted a new title. As "Spotted Horses" it appeared in their June 1931 issue.

The story's publication history is much simpler. The tale Faulkner had set out to tell in "Father Abraham," the narrative of Flem Snopes' rise from sharecropper's son to bank president, became the Snopes trilogy, and the story of the auction, expanded and revised, appears in Book 5, Chapter 1, of the first novel in that trilogy: The Hamlet (1940). When Faulkner collected his short fiction for Collected Stories (1950), he chose not to include the magazine version of "Spotted Horses." Joseph Blotner reprinted that in his 1979 William Faulkner: The Uncollected Stories, and that text provides the basis for our digital representation.

First Publisher: 
Scribner's Magazine
First Publisher Date: 
June 1931
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Edit Copy Publisher: 
Vintage International
Edit Copy Publisher Location: 
New York
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How to cite this resource:
Dye, Dotty, and Stephen Railton. "Faulkner's 'Spotted Horses.'" Added to the project: 2014.   Additional editing 2019: Lorie Watkins, Stephen Railton.  Digital Yoknapatawpha, University of Virginia, http://faulkner.iath.virginia.edu

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