15 February 2010

Source found for Faulkner's characters' names

A diary written in the mid-1800s by a plantation owner in Mississippi was apparently the source William Faulkner used for the names of characters in his novels.
Names of slaves owned by Leak — Caruthers, Moses, Isaac, Sam, Toney, Mollie, Edmund and Worsham — all appear in some form in “Go Down, Moses.” Other recorded names, like Candis (Candace in the book) and Ben, show up in “The Sound and The Fury” (1929) while Old Rose, Henry, Ellen and Milly are characters in “Absalom, Absalom!” (1936). Charles Bonner, a well-known Civil War physician mentioned in the diary, would also seem to be the namesake of Charles Bon in “Absalom.”
More details at the New York Times.


  1. Faulkner scholars would do well to read The History of Oktibbaha County. ---Wilson Roberts

    1. I'm not a scholar, but I'm curious. Is it the basis for the fictional Yoknapatawpha County?


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