Special Collections and Archives

Noel Polk - Faulkner's Marionettes collection

Special Collections and Archives

Noel Polk - Faulkner's Marionettes collection

The Noel Polk - Faulkner's Marionettes Collection, [1970?-1979]


Prepared by Kyler Andrew Culver, November 5, 2003
1 document case, .33 cubic feet, 11th floor

Historical Note

In 1920, four years before the publication of his first book, William Faulkner wrote a one-act play in verse form for his university dramatic club. The play, Marionettes, a love story involving personifications of the seasons, was not published until 1975, when the Yoknapatawpha Press published a deluxe 88-page faithful facsimile of Faulkner's hand-lettered manuscript, the only of the author's published works for which he himself drew illustrations. Noel Polk of the English department of the University of Texas at Austin wrote an extensive article on the publication of the work, and was involved in collating the extant copies of the original for the sake of the re-issue.

Scope and Content

At the urging of friends who saw the elaborately handcrafted original copy of the play, William Faulkner hand-lettered and hand-bound, with his own original drawings, five additional copies of The Marionettes, his first book, while he was an undergraduate at the University of Mississippi, where the play was produced by fellow students. In 1975, collating the four extant copies of this extremely rare book, Noel Polk of the English Department of the University of Texas at Austin contributed to an effort to re-issue an exacting reproduction of the physical and artistic achievement represented by this tome of Faulkner's own creation and manufacture. Polk's donation includes photocopies of the original copies of Marionettes, as well as carefully recorded lists of textual variations, working manuscripts of Polk's scholarly articles on the book, research resources, the writings of others involved in its production, news clippings and some correspondence.

The Department of Special Collections and Archives houses two editions of Marionettes--one published in 1977 by the University of Virginia Press (with introduction and textual apparatus by Noel Polk), and another published by the University of Virginia in 1975 as a limited edition in memory of Linton R. Massey.

Box 1

Folder -- Contents
  1. Marionettes, photocopy of Yoknapatawpha Press edition held by University of Mississippi
  2. Marionettes, photocopy of original, University of Texas collection
  3. Marionettes, photocopy of original, University of Virginia collection
  4. Marionettes, photocopy of original, pages 27-51, source unidentified
  5. Typescript of a copy of Marionettes held by University of Texas, no date
  6. List of corrections to a copy of Marionettes held by University of Texas [no date]
  7. List of variations in texts of Marionettes [no date]
  8. List of variations in texts of Marionettes, with annotations [no date]
  9. Polk, Noel "Marionettes Introduction", 1 typescript, unpaged [no date]
  10. Polk, Noel "B. Historical Collation", 1 typescript, unpaged [no date]
  11. Polk, Noel "Willam Faulkner's Marionettes", galley proofs with corrections, from Mississippi Quarterly vol. 26 no. 3, Summer 1973
  12. Polk, Noel "Textual appendix", typescript, 7 pages [no date]
  13. Article, partial, re: Ben Wasson's friendship with William Faulkner [no author, date, source]
  14. Justus, Lucy "A New Book by William Faulkner" The Atlanta Journal and Constitution Magazine Atlanta, Georgia, January 11, 1976
  15. Roberton, Craig "Faulkner 'play-poem' published" Delta Democrat-Times Greenwood, Mississippi, September 14, 1975
  16. Wasson, Ben "A Memory of Marionettes", article, 9 pages, with corrections
  17. Williford, Susan "Rare Faulkner manuscript unearthed in Itta Bena" Commonwealth Greenwood, Mississippi, June 26, 1975
  18. No author, L'Apres-Midi d'un Faune pages 104-124
  19. Phillpotts, Eden The Secret Woman: A Play in Five Acts London: Duckworth, 1912
  20. Verlaine, Paul Selected Poems Berkeley: University of California Press, 1948
  21. Verlaine, Paul Selected Verse ed. Gourevitch, Doris-Jeanne. Waltham, Mass: Blaisdell, no date, pages 78-101 WITH Mallarme, Stephane Poems trans. Fry, Roger. London: Chatto & Windus, 1936, pages 61-81
  22. Grant, Michael and John Hazel Gods and Mortals in Classical Mythology Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1973, pages 209-212, 229-232
  23. Harvey, Sir Paul, ed. Oxford Companion to Classical Literature Oxford: Clarendon, 1940, pages 204-5
  24. Yonah, Michael Avi and Israel Shatzman Illustrated Encyclopaedia of the Classical World New York: Harper & Row, 1975
  25. Correspondence, Noel Polk to "Bruce"..., [no date]
  26. Correspondence, Noel Polk to "Bruce"..., January 30, 1979
  27. Brochure, Yoknapatawpha Press, Oxford, Mississippi, for re-issue of Marionettes, September 25, 1975