Thursday, January 8, 2009

"He stood on a stone pedestal"

William Clark Falkner received his title of colonel from his service during the Civil War with the 2nd Mississippi Regiment. Many people believe that his grandson, William Faulkner, used his grandfather's statue in the Ripley Cemetery as a model for his description of the fictional Col. John Sartoris' grave: "He stood on a stone pedestal, in his frock coat and bareheaded, one leg slightly advanced...."

"He stood..bareheaded..."

Faulkner continues to describe his character Col. Sartoris, ".... his carven eyes gazing out across the valley where his railroad ran, and the blue changeless hills beyond, and beyond that, the ramparts of infinity itself." Col. Falkner's statue faces the tracks of the railroad line that he built, with his business partner and murderer, R. J. Thurmond. The railroad lies just outside the cemetery, the entrance to the cemetery crossing the railroad tracks.

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