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.

“The Bear”

Edward Shenton, who illustrated this story for the Post, clearly tried to capture a sense of the tale's mythic dimensions in the two-color image below left. His representation of Sam Fathers, however, below right, keeps Sam in the black-white racial context where the story itself says he has to live: he is clearly drawn as the "son of a Negro slave," but there is no hint that he is also the son of "an Indian king" (294).

Page 30, 9 May 1942 Saturday Evening Post     Page 31, 9 May 1942 Saturday Evening Post

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