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Short Story Collections:

The Portable Faulkner

New York: Viking Press, 1946.
Revised edition 1967.
xxxvii, 724 pages.
Edited by Malcolm Cowley


Strictly speaking, The Portable Faulkner is not a collection of short stories; rather, it is an attempt by Malcolm Cowley, a respected critic and scholar, to draw attention to a writer whose works, at the time, were almost entirely out of print. His effort — to unify the seemingly chaotic landscape of Faulkner’s fiction — was widely seen as a triumph, including by Faulkner himself, who wrote in a letter to Cowley, “The job is splendid. Damn you to hell anyway. But even if I had beat you to the idea, mine wouldn't have been this good. By God, I didn’t know myself what I had tried to do, and how much I had succeeded.”

If nothing else, Cowley’s compilation introduced the writer’s work to a new generation of readers and finally achieved the critical and popular acclaim that thus far had eluded Faulkner. The only “new” piece of writing in The Portable Faulkner was the appendix to The Sound and the Fury which Faulkner wrote especially for the collection, but because the work is collected in roughly chronological order, it is easier to see a kind of sweeping saga set in Yoknapatawpha County.

The revised edition makes several changes over the original, but for the most part the text is the same as the original publication in 1946. Each numbered section of the work begin with an “Editor’s Note” by Cowley.


Note: Title links lead to more detailed bibliographical and publication information on each work, not to the work itself.

Table of Contents

The Old People

1820. A Justice

1933. The Courthouse (A Name for the City)
(from Requiem for a Nun)

18---. Red Leaves

1959. Was
(from Go Down, Moses)

The Unvanquished

1864. Raid
(from The Unvanquished)

1869. Wash

1874. An Odor of Verbena
(from The Unvanquished)

The Last Wilderness

1883. The Bear
(from Go Down, Moses)

The Peasants

1908. Spotted Horses
(from The Hamlet)

The End of an Order

1902. That Evening Sun

1918. Ad Astra

1924. A Rose for Emily

1928. Dilsey
(from The Sound and the Fury)

Mississippi Flood

1927. Old Man
(from The Wild Palms)

Modern Times

1928. Death Drag

1929. Uncle Bud and the Three Madams
(from Sanctuary)

1930. Percy Grimm
(from Light in August)

1940. Delta Autumn
(from Go Down, Moses)

The Undying Past

1951. The Jail (Nor Even Yet Quite Relinquish ----------)
(from Requiem for a Nun)



Books for sale at

The Portable FaulknerThe Portable Faulkner

Edited by Malcolm Cowley

First published: 1946

Viking Press

Paperback (1977)

ISBN: 0140150188

Collected Stories of William Faulkner Collected Stories of William Faulkner

Edited by Erroll McDonald

First published: 1950

Vintage Books

Paperback (1995)

ISBN: 0679764038

Uncollected Stories of William FaulknerUncollected Stories of William Faulkner

Edited by Joseph Blotner

First published: 1979

Vintage Books

Paperback (1997)

ISBN: 0375701095

Random House

Hardcover (1983)

ISBN: 0394400445

Big Woods: The Hunting Stories Big Woods: The Hunting Stories

First published: 1955

Vintage Books

Paperback (1994)

ISBN: 0679752528

Big Woods (Illustrated Edition)Big Woods: The Hunting Stories

Illustrated by Brett Smith

Wilderness Adventure Press

Paperback (1996)

ISBN: 1885106408

Knight's Gambit Knight’s Gambit: Six Mystery Stories

First published: 1949

Vintage Books

Paperback (1987)

ISBN: 0394727290

Three Famous Short NovelsThree Famous Short Novels

First published: 1958

Vintage Books

Paperback (1961)

ISBN: 0394701496

New Orleans SketchesNew Orleans Sketches

Edited by Carvel Collins

First published: 1958

University Press of Mississippi

Paperback (2002)

ISBN: 1578064716



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How to cite this page (MLA style):

Padgett, John B. “Short Story Collections: The Portable Faulkner.” William Faulkner on the Web. 17 August 2006. 22 August 2019 <http://www.mcsr.olemiss.edu/~egjbp/faulkner/ r_ssb-pf.html >.

This page was last modified on Thursday, August 17, 2006, at 03:20 PM CDT.
Copyright © 1995 – 2006 by John B. Padgett.
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