Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Rowan Oak, home of William Faulkner, Oxford MS

The iconic view of the front entrance to the home (not so much a mansion as an old MS farm) built in the 1840's, purchased and named by Faulkner in 1930.  Probably the most photographed view in Mississippi.

Faulkner died young (by today's standards) from injury suffered in fall from a horse. The house was never occupied by other owners; was soon under ownership of Ol' Miss. Mostly, the house was left the way it was when the Faulkner's resided.  Perhaps and probably, he touched the door handle with is own hands. (when visiting homes of historic people, you don't usually feel the "presence"; here, you do.) His spirit might be amused to watch the dozens of reverent fans--young and old--trooping through the house, sitting outside on lawn chairs, some reading his books or writing in notebooks.

Faulkner's specially designed writing studio, with the typewriter he used. He would closet himself in this room for days on end--so there's a bed for resting while he was in process of writing. He would suffer no interruption!

Most of his books were conceived and completed from within these walls. And if you have read his work, you know it is very personal; specific to the locations that he knew and loved. That is why I believe his spirit still resides here.

 He would display his plot plans for himself on the walls of the study.  Directly outside the study room is a small, (once "full") bathroom; it is now the washroom for staff and public use; though some fixtures are new, the wash basin is old--vintage 1940's--so you can wash your hands at the writer's own facility.

 Faulkner was not an admirer of advanced, progressive technology; he used a standard, manual typewriter though electric brands where modern conveniences in his time. There was a family argument when his teenage daughter wanted a radio in the 1940's; she got it at the insistence of her mother. (The radio is in her bedroom upstairs to this day) The telephone was unavoidable but he didn't like it. As with other old places I've seen, important numbers were scrawled on the wall! The day after Faulkner's funeral, his wife had a window air conditioner delivered and installed for her comfort in her half of their bed-suite upstairs. The AC is up there, too.

This is the modern kitchen in the home. Previously, cooking was done in a detached, brick building in the yard. These were also called "summer kitchens", used so the heat from cooking did not heat up the house in hot, southern summers. I wonder if there was a fight over the freezer? I bet not.

The bed chamber--his half of the bedroom suite

Another view of Aunt Cally's house in the back yard. (his childhood nanny, who lived to be 100.)

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