New York: The Modern Library, c.1950. Reprint Edition. 12mo, publisher's blue cloth stamped in red and gilt, top edge stained red, patterned endpapers, original illustrated dust jacket.
"She thought of them, woolly, shapeless; savage, petulant, spoiled, the flatulent monotony of their sheltered lives snatched up without warning by an incomprehensible moment of terror and fear of bodily annihilation at the very hands which symbolised by ordinary the licensed tranquillity of their lives." Early Modern Library edition of William Faulkner's scandalizing fifth novel, with a new introduction in which the Nobel Prize-winner explains his intentions in writing the book and a brief history of its inception. As Faulkner's previous books were not as successful as he had hoped, he decided he would write about a sensationalist subject, in this case the kidnapping and brutal rape of a young college girl during the prohibition era. "To me it is a cheap idea...because it was deliberately conceived to make money." Unsurprisingly, the manuscript was initially rejected when submitted to his publisher in 1929, due to its controversial subject matter and graphic nature, his editor writing: "Good God, I can't publish this. We'd both be in jail." (Further, in his introduction Faulkner writes that the entirety of the novel was written in three weeks, when in reality it was written in four months—from January to May of 1929—with painstaking revisions, and was also largely based on a story that Faulkner had heard from a woman in a New Orleans nightclub about her abduction, rather than "a cheap idea" he conceived himself.) First issued as #61 in Random House's Modern Library series in 1932; the binding style, Rockwell Kent-designed endpapers, and dust jacket (designed by E. McKnight Kauffer) place this copy's date sometime in the late 40s/early 50s. Unclipped dust jacket (with price of $1.25, and 360 Modern Library titles listed on verso) with only light rubbing and soiling, else fine. Item #2429