This is a haunting photographic guidebook to an imaginary place synonymous with Southern fiction. Accomplished photographer George G. Stewart has crafted a pictorial study of the vanishing Southern landscape that William Faulkner so richly captured as the mythical north Mississippi county of Yoknapatawpha. Through eighty-four black-and-white photographs, Stewart records - and in some instances re-creates - authentic scenes and objects represented in Faulkner's fiction, conjoining these original, haunting visuals with corresponding passages from classic Faulkner texts. Stewart conveys a richly gothic perspective on a bygone South where equal sway is commanded by darkness and light, past and present, legacy and destiny. These photographs present the few monuments, locales, and landmarks in or near Mississippi's Lafayette and Tippah counties that have survived the rigors of time and commercial progress to stand as the last visible links to the world from which Faulkner's fiction emerged. In this guidebook to an imaginary realm, Stewart ably illustrates both place and tone by adapting Faulknerian literary techniques in his photography. The use of double exposure in some images evokes the stream of consciousness, foreshadowing, and doubling employed by Faulkner in his writing. The sequencing of images recalls the discontinuous circling of themes and fracturing of narratives in the writer's vision and depicts the South on the brink of transition, yet still mired in the morass of an inescapable past. The juxtaposition of Stewart's distinctive photography with samplings from Faulkner's writing offers a provocative glimpse across an iconic but disappearing Southern landscape soon to exist only in artistic imaginings such as this. The volume also includes a foreword by Robert W. Hamblin, director of the Center for Faulkner Studies at Southeast Missouri State University.
A native of New Orleans with family ties to Mississippi, George G. Stewart is a retired academic librarian and an affiliate of the Atlanta Photography Group. He completed graduate studies at Tulane University and the University of Denver and has taught courses on library science, literature, William Faulkner, and Southern culture. His Faulkner-inspired photography has been featured in Southern Cultures and the Faulkner Newsletter & Yoknapatawpha Review. He lives near Atlanta, Georgia.