Alternate title: I fucking love William Faulkner!
Growing up, I read very few books that weren’t horror, comics, or E.M. Forster (can’t explain the how Forster snuck in…). Then in college, I got The Sound and the Fury as a required text and became instantly obsessed with William Faulkner. It was the most challenging novel I’d finished at the time and I can still remember feeling like I’d gained a brand new way of looking at literature/the world. Since then, other modernists have left me cold but my reading tastes have branched out considerably. Faulkner was kind of my gateway drug!
Anyway, as soon as I realized this road trip went near Oxford Mississippi, I made the executive decision to stop there. With only half a day, we dropped my in-laws off at a record shop and headed straight to Rowan Oak, Faulkner’s home. I can’t recommend a tour of the house and grounds highly enough– it’s the ultimate literary destination. Paintings, plaster cracks, a portable typewriter– all carefully preserved. Even Dean thought it was cool to see an outline of A Fable that Faulkner wrote directly on the walls of his study. I love imagining him drinking his cheap bourbon and scaring his daughter with ghost stories here. We’re also glad his wife had AC put in, supposedly the day after he died. Hahaa!
Here I am being a total ham and posing with my copy of Absalom! Absalom! which I re-read during the trip. The grounds at Rowan Oak are beautiful and serene.
Afterwards, we headed to Oxford Square which is lovely and kind of reminds me of an extra-southern Athens. Square Books has to be one of the best, most charming book stores in the country! I’m really sorry we didn’t have more time here. There are a few places we didn’t get to that we’ll have to see next time. :)
We didn’t have any whiskey or fine French wine bottles to leave so we tossed a couple pennies and hit the road again for Alabama. So long, Yoknapatawpha County!