William Faulkner, "Barn Burning"

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Composition and Publishing History

William Faulkner began The Hamlet, the first volume of the Snopes trilogy, by writing “Barn Burning”, intending it to be Chapter One of Book One (Blotner, 400), but as he worked on the novel he “discovered [it] had no place in that book at all” (Faulkner, Selected Letters, 1977) in its original version, and so not long before the book was published (Blotner, 413), he revised Chapter One and included only a much shortened version of the tale recast as a droll story that V. K. Ratliff tells Jody Varner about the sharecropper he has just rented a farm to: Ab Snopes, who has a habit of burning the barns of landlords he can’t get along with. The boy, Sarty, who is the main character of the short story, Ratliff mentions only once without naming him

2479 words

Citation: Meats, Stephen E.. ""Barn Burning"". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 April 2023 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=41204, accessed 12 June 2024.]

41204 "Barn Burning" 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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