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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Faulkner’s Ole Miss

Faulkner's Ole Miss is the University of Mississippi, where the future writer didn't loose much time, as he dropped out after only three semesters. But Ole Miss is in Oxford, Mississippi, and Faulkner spent there so much of his life: many of his stories unravel in Yoknapatawpha County, an imaginary setting whose creation was based, and that was actually his home county, Lafayette. The mansion where he lived, the Rowan Oak, is open to visitors, and maybe each pilgrimage there should start in his liquor cabinet. You'll enter the room to discover in a glass case a bottle of Four Roses bourbon, which he liked because it was inexpensive and easy to find. And also other marvels: his metal mint julep cup, and a bottle of Harvey’s Fine Tawny Hunting Port, which he used for cooking game birds while a second bottle, for drinking, warmed in the ashes of the fire. After all, as he wrote, civilization begins with distillation.

Rowan Oak, Faulkner's family home, built in 1844
(image credits: William Widmer for NY Times)

Faulkner's cabinet in Rowan Oak - his pipes, tobacco box, matches
(image credits: William Widmer for NY Times)

Oxford, MS - an independent bookstore opened in 1979, that became a landmark
(image credits: William Widmer for NY Times)

The Grove, on the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford - red and blue, the university’s colors
(image credits: William Widmer for NY Times)

(A Life in Books)


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