The Textual History and Definitive Textual Apparatus for Soldiers' Pay: A Bibliographic Study of William Faulkner's First Novel
Date of Award
Dissertation - Restricted
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Mitchell, Robin C.
The publication of William Faulkner's first novel, Soldiers' Pay, was beset with a problem that would recur with the publication of many of his later works: he was unable to resist the many editorial emendations that were imposed on his texts. As one close friend and publisher of Faulkner's recently speculated in a letter to this author, Faulkner "was so damn glad to get those two books [Soldiers' Pay and Mosquitoes] published that he accepted a great deal of whatever [Liveright editor] Tom Smith did with his manuscript." This dissertation traces the textual history of Soldiers' Pay from its inception through to its publication in this country and England, Also, in a textual apparatus, this study seeks to establish the definitive text of the novel by suggesting emendations to the copy-text which have been determined by a careful collation of the two extant typescripts and the first American edition of the novel. The dissertation is divided into three parts: the History of the Text, the Textual Apparatus, and the Appendices. The first part contains sections on the inception of Soldiers' Pay. and traces the roots of the novel to Faulkner's war poems of 1919 and certain of his sketches, some unpublished, and his essay "Literature and War," that were written between 1920 and 1925, The composition section covers the period from January through June 1925 when Faulkner actually wrote Soldiers' Pay. Faulkner's process of writing is discussed here, as is the influence of Sherwood Anderson and the role Faulkner's Oxford friends, Phil Stone, Edith Brown Douds and Grace Hudson, played in the preparation of the novel,...