The Town: A Novel of the Snopes Family.

First edition of William Faulkner's The Town; from the library of Cormac McCarthy with his ownership signature

The Town: A Novel of the Snopes Family.

FAULKNER, William. [Cormac McCarthy].


Item Number: 143641

New York: Random House, 1957.

First edition, first printing of the second novel in Faulkner’s celebrated Snopes trilogy with line 8 on page 327 repeated as line 10. Octavo, original publisher’s cloth. From the library of Cormac McCarthy with his ownership signature to the front free endpaper. McCarthy has been widely praised as not only a disciple of Faulkner, but his literary heir. Both authors’ biblically influenced prose formed the basis of a large body of tragically intertwined, powerful narratives filled with a nostalgic yearning for an earlier, ancestral, rural America. In many ways, McCarthy picked up where Faulkner left off, further exploring and elaborating on a number of core themes including the concept of sin (including its consequences, transference, and ritualistic attempts to purify it), justification of (often savage and sacrificial) violence, and disillusionment with the moralist ideology of modern civilization. McCarthy’s writing style, particularly in his earlier work, owed much to Faulkner – in its dense prose, use of dialect, vivid imagery and descriptions of the American landscape, and fluid ambiguity of time and place. Published only three years after William Faulkner’s death and edited by Albert Erskine, who worked with Faulkner at Random House, McCarthy’s debut novel, The Orchard Keeper was awarded the 1966 William Faulkner Foundation Award and contains perhaps his most overt use of Faulknerian literary devices and mannerisms. Faulkner’s influence on McCarthy’s themes and style are also apparent to a notable degree in his fourth novel, Suttree (reminiscent of The Sound and the Fury) as well as his popular novels All the Pretty Horses, Blood Meridian, The Crossing, and The Road, where his descriptions of southern Appalachia evoke Faulkner’s fictional Mississippi county of Yoknapatawpha. Near fine in a very good first issue dust jacket with the “5/57” date on lower front flap. Jacket design by Push Pin Studios. Author photograph by Phyllis Cerf. Housed in a custom half morocco and chemise slipcase. An exceptional association linking two of the greatest American novelists.

With The Town, the second in Faulkner’s Snopes trilogy that began with The Hamlet (1940) and concluded with The Mansion (1959), he returns “to Yoknapatawpha County and to one of his finest themes… The Town is an integral and important part of the great Yoknapatawpha saga” (Granville Hicks, New Leader). Alfred Kazin noted on publication, “As so often happens with a Faulkner book, one is conscious of Faulkner’s own voice, of his unflaggingly passionate mind… The Town is a book with Faulkner’s stamp and brand and fire all over it” (New York Times).

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