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A giant of American literature
In October 1928, the young writer William
Faulkner tossed a recently completed manuscript
to his friend: ‘Read this, Bud. It’s a real son-of-
a-bitch … This one’s the greatest I’ll ever write.’
He went on to write many great novels and short
stories. In 1949, he was awarded the Nobel Prize
in Literature for his ‘powerful and artistically
unique contribution to the modern American
novel’. But Faulkner was right that The Sound and
the Fury – searing, tragic, extraordinary in its
innovation – is the most powerful of all. Indeed,
it remains one of the most influential of all
20th-century American novels.
‘For all the range of effect, philosophical weight,
originality of style, variety of characterization,
humor, and tragic intensity [Faulkner’s works]
are without equal in our time and country’
robert penn warren
‘I wish publishing was advanced enough to use
colored ink ... I’ll just have to save the idea until
publishing grows up’ william faulkner
Faulkner’s vision fulfilled in a new limited edition
W
illiam Faulkner’s most revolutionary novel has challenged and
rewarded readers in equal measure. Faulkner wanted to see it
printed using different coloured inks to mark different time periods, but
no publisher at the time could take on such a complicated and expensive
project, and Faulkner never left an exact schematic of his idea. Now,
over 80 years later, The Folio Society is fulfilling Faulkner’s vision in the
creation of this new edition. A scholarly glossary and line-by-line
commentary on the book by two eminent Faulknerians has been updated
and published as a companion volume to this limited edition. To assist
the reader further, a bookmark is supplied with all colours and their
matching dates as well as line numbers marked along one side.
Beautifully bound and strictly limited to 1,480 numbered copies, this is
quite simply the finest edition of The Sound and the Fury ever published.
A publishing landmark – the first edition of Faulkner’s
masterpiece to be printed as he intended
P R E S S R E L E A S E
www.foliosociety.com



Beautiful illustrated books
T HE
S OUND
A ND T HE
F URY
WI L L I A M
FAUL K NE R
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Faulkner knew the public might find the book difficult, that its
stream-of-consciousness form, the jerky timeshifts and dislocations
between external and internal would confuse some readers. In the first
section, because the narrator Benjy is mentally disabled, Faulkner
wanted to convey ‘unbroken-surfaced confusion’. His agent attempted
to add extra paragraph breaks in pursuit of clarity, prompting an angry
objection from Faulkner. He quickly jotted down eight time levels in
Benjy’s section, ‘just a few I recall’, and wished that it could be ‘printed
the way it ought to be with different color types’, but he concluded
pessimistically, ‘I don’t reckon … it’ll ever be printed that way.’
Once The Folio Society determined that it could be printed that way,
two noted Faulkner scholars, Noel Polk and Stephen M. Ross, helped
to identify all the time-levels in the first section and assign a colour to
each. We can never know if this is exactly what Faulkner would have
envisaged were he to have created the colour scheme himself, but
the identification of each time shift has been carefully researched and
the colours selected to work harmoniously in different combinations
on the page.
Fans of Faulkner will find this edition exhilarating, for it reveals
a new way of looking at what Faulkner’s friend and literary agent Ben
Wasson called ‘the sheer technical outrageousness and freshness of
the Benjy section’. Those who have been put off by the book’s
reputation for obscurity will find that the colour scheme (and special
bookmark developed for this edition) aids comprehension. Crucially,
the colour-shifts achieve this without removing the ‘thought-
transference’ to the reader for which Faulkner argued so passionately.
Sound of genius, fury of tragedy
In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Faulkner championed ‘the old
verities and truths of the heart, the old universal truths lacking which
any story is ephemeral and doomed – love and honor and pity and
pride and compassion and sacrifice’. The Sound and the Fury is filled
with those emotions: the reader cannot help but care for Quentin
begging his sister not to marry ‘that blackguard’; even for Mrs Compson
with her bleak self-centred cry, ‘I am a lady’, and for Benjy waiting by
the golf course just to hear the golfers call ‘caddie’ at which he begins
to howl, mistaking it for his beloved sister’s name.
‘No man ever put more of his heart and soul into the written word
than did William Faulkner’ eudora welty
Strictly limited to 1,480 copies,
numbered by hand
Presented in a cloth-bound slipcase
with inset leather title label
Quarter-bound in vermilion goatskin
leather blocked in gold. Paper sides
printed letterpress with a typographic
design by Russell Marat
320 pages. 10¼" ≈ 6∏"
232-page commentary volume
bound in cotton cloth,
blocked in gold
S
trictly limited, bound to order and never repeated, Folio Society
limited editions are outstanding works of literary or historical
significance reproduced as works of art in their own right. Many of our
editions are facsimiles of treasures held in some of the world’s greatest
libraries and museums. For others, we commission leading artists and
craftsmen to create editions that represent the pinnacle of book publishing.
All are designed to become keepsakes for future generations.
For all media enquiries please contact
Annabel Robinson,
FMcM Associates, ozo ,¡o, ,¡zz
or annabelr@fmcm.co.uk.

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