Valley Road in Flags in the Dust (Location)

The "valley road," as the narrative calls the main road out of Jefferson going north, is perhaps the physical center of the novel's narrative, partly because it leads from town to the Sartoris plantation, and partly because Young Bayard spends so much of his time on it restlessly driving the sports car he buys after returning from the war. It is described 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).

Oxford, Mississippi

Oxford is the real town in Mississippi where Faulkner lived and wrote for most of his life, and the original on which much of his fictional 'Jefferson' is based. The eight texts that mention Oxford by name seldom feature the town itself, though several of the separate Oxford locations in Sanctuary have their own entries in the database.

Government Field|Dayton, Ohio

The Wright Brothers were from Dayton, Ohio, and Orville Wright leased the airfield he built just north of Dayton to the U.S. Army in 1917. This North Field is presumably the location that Faulkner has in mind as the spot from which Bayard Sartoris takes off for his final, fatal flight. The event and the place are described most fully in Flags in the Dust, but they are also referred to in three other texts.

Horace's New Town|Kinston

The town in which Horace and Belle are living at the end of Flags in the Dust is unnamed but described harshly as an antithesis to the old world of Jefferson that Horace has left behind. It's a new town, built around a lumber factory "financed by eastern capital" and run by "as plausible and affable a set of brigands as ever stole a county" (373). The town consists of "mile after mile of identical frame houses with garage to match," and there is plenty of money there, "like that afflatus of rank fecundity above a foul and stagnant pool" (373).

Grenada and Calhoun Counties, Mississippi

In the story Will Falls tells old Bayard in Flags in the Dust, it was in "Calhoun county" that Colonel John Sartoris single-handedly captured a company of Yankee cavalry (230). The Colonel's troop was moving north, after serving with Confederate General Van Dorn to keep an eye on U. S. Grant's forces in Grenada. Both Calhoun and Grenada are real counties in Mississippi, both southwest of the location of Yoknapatawpha, though there no major Civil War battles took place in either of them.

Europe in World War I

As Gavin Stevens says in The Mansion, the 'Great War' - as World War I was called before the second World War - "killed eight million human beings and ruined a forty-mile wide strip down the middle of western Europe" (178).

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis is the closest city to Yoknapatawpha - as Jason Compson notes near the end of his section in The Sound and the Fury, "I was within sixty-seven miles of there once this afternoon" (245) - and it is the second most frequently used location in Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha fictions, appearing in 34 of them altogether. The city was founded on the Mississippi River in 1819, and about the time Jason imagined going there it had close to 200,000 inhabitants.

Virginia in the Civil War

Mississippi was in the western theater of the Civil War, but quite a few of Faulkner's characters fight in the eastern theater, perhaps so that their creator could bring the most famous Confederate generals - Lee, Jackson, Stuart - into his story of Yoknapatawpha.

Frenchman's Bend

Frenchman's Bend - the 'hamlet' in the title of the first novel in the Snopes trilogy - is used as a setting or is mentioned often in the Yoknapatawpha fictions. It's a very rural community usually located twenty miles southeast of Jefferson, though Faulkner isn't consistent about the distance. Its population is almost entirely white. It gets at least part of its name from Louis Grenier, the Frenchman who established the first slave plantation in Yoknapatawpha but who disappeared after the Civil War, so that now the residents of the Bend don't even know the 'old Frenchman's' name.

Jefferson Courthouse and Square

"The courthouse: the center, the focus, the hub" (Requiem for a Nun, 32) - one way or another the courthouse and the Square around it that are at the center of Jefferson appear in over two-thirds of the fictions.


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