22 June 2010
FAULKNER, William. Intruder in the Dust. New York: Random House, 1948.
8o. Original black cloth; pictorial dust jacket (a few small nicks, rear panel lightly soiled); quarter morocco folding case. Provenance: Holland Falkner Wilkins, Faulkner's aunt (presentation inscription).
FIRST EDITION. AN EXTRAORDINARY PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY FAULKNER TO HIS AUNT HOLLAND FALKNER WILKINS on the fly-title: "For Holland from Brother Will 20 April 1949 At home." Holland Falkner Wilkins was the sister of William Faulkner's father. She had been widowed in 1904 and came to live in "The Big House" with her brother's family in 1904. ADDITIONALLY SIGNED BY 30 MEMBERS OF THE PRODUCTION TEAM involved in the filming of the movie, including producer and director Clarence Brown, cinematographer Robert Surtees and actor Will Geer. Holland Falkner Williams Heard was the daughter of his cousin and childhood playmate. Production had begun in February 1949 and this copy was inscribed towards the end of filming. It was possibly on the occasion of a celebratory fish fry at the end of April that this copy was signed by most of the participants.
The novel focuses on Lucas Beauchamp, a black farmer accused of murdering a white man. He is exonerated through the efforts of black and white teenagers and a spinster from a long-established Southern family. It was written as Faulkner's response as a Southern writer to the racial problems facing the South. In his Selected Letters, Faulkner wrote: "the premise being that the white people in the south, before the North or the Govt. or anybody else owe and must pay a responsibility to the negro." Peterson A26.2.
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