CHAPTER
3

standing at the corner when the dismissal bell rang, stand-
ing there while the kindergarten then the first-grade children
streamed past … then the second grade, standing there while
the Lilliputian flow divided. … the rules of the school and of
respectable decorum … the empty room itself smelling of chalk
and anguished cerebration and the dry inflexibility of facts. …

The Town (144–145)

MAUD FALKNER had her sons' photograph taken that fall at the studio over Leavell's Plain & Fancy Grocery. She and Mammy Callie had dressed them in their black-velvet best—jackets buttoned tight at the neck, with no shirt showing. William sat erect, looking almost plump, turned nearly full-face toward the camera. (It could scarcely have been more different from two other photos in the family album: in one he was climbing a tree; in another, standing on his head.) The Butler cast to his features was clearer now than ever, with the snapping black eyes, the thin mouth concealing spiky baby teeth, and the fair hair parted precisely in the middle. Bright and alert-looking, he skipped the beginners' grade, or chart class, and went right into first grade on September 25, 1905, his eighth birthday.

The Oxford Graded School stood two blocks west of the square on Jackson Avenue, a two-story brick building that housed the chart class and seven primary grades on the first floor and the three-grade high school on the second. Each classroom was dominated by the teacher's desk on a small platform looking out over the double desks, each one seating two children. Heat flowed out from a wood-burning iron stove. Billy's teacher was Miss Annie Chandler, whose students loved her. Precocious in drawing and painting, Billy presented her with three watercolors. She gave him The Clansman: An Historical Romance of the Ku Klux Klan, by Thomas Dixon, Jr. Hers was not an easy job, in school

-20-

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Faulkner: A Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Faulkner - A Biography *
  • Foreword ix
  • Contents xiii
  • Chapter 1 3
  • Chapter 2 11
  • Chapter 3 20
  • Chapter 4 29
  • Chapter 5 38
  • Chapter 6 43
  • Chapter 7 57
  • Chapter 8 68
  • Chapter 9 75
  • Chapter 10 85
  • Chapter 11 93
  • Chapter 12 104
  • Chapter 13 110
  • Chapter 14 120
  • Chapter 15 126
  • Chapter 16 136
  • Chapter 17 148
  • Chapter 18 155
  • Chapter 19 168
  • Chapter 20 172
  • Chapter 21 178
  • Chapter 22 186
  • Chapter 23 191
  • Chapter 24 203
  • Chapter 25 209
  • Chapter 26 222
  • Chapter 27 232
  • Chapter 28 242
  • Chapter 29 258
  • Chapter 30 273
  • Chapter 31 284
  • Chapter 32 297
  • Chapter 33 304
  • Chapter 34 311
  • Chapter 35 322
  • Chapter 36 328
  • Chapter 37 337
  • Chapter 38 346
  • Chapter 39 354
  • Chapter 40 366
  • Chapter 41 377
  • Chapter 42 384
  • Chapter 43 394
  • Chapter 44 405
  • Chapter 45 416
  • Chapter 46 426
  • Chapter 47 435
  • Chapter 48 441
  • Chapter 49 453
  • Chapter 50 463
  • Chapter 51 470
  • Chapter 52 482
  • Chapter 53 490
  • Chapter 54 501
  • Chapter 55 513
  • Chapter 56 525
  • Chapter 57 537
  • Chapter 58 545
  • Chapter 59 554
  • Chapter 60 566
  • Chapter 61 580
  • Chapter 62 586
  • Chapter 63 601
  • Chapter 64 614
  • Chapter 65 632
  • Chapter 66 645
  • Chapter 67 656
  • Chapter 68 669
  • Chapter 69 682
  • Chapter 70 696
  • Chapter 71 707
  • Notes 719
  • Chronology 748
  • Genealogy 752
  • Acknowledgments 755
  • Index 757
  • About the Author 779
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