Events, Literary, Southern Historical Collection, UNC History

Diary at UNC that Inspired Faulkner Is Topic of Sept. 15 Program

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William Faulkner and the Southern Historical Collection
A program with Sally Wolff-King
Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010
Wilson Special Collections Library
5 p.m. Reception, main lobby
5:45 p.m. Program, Pleasants Family Assembly Room
Free and open to the public
Information: Liza Terll, Friends of the Library, (919) 962-4207

The scholar who uncovered a link between author William Faulkner and a pre-Civil War plantation journal will discuss her findings in a free public program Sept. 15 at UNC’s Wilson Library, where the original journal is preserved.

Sally Wolff-King, professor of English at Emory University, discovered that the Nobel Prize-winning novelist drew names, events, and other details from the diary that is now part of the Southern Historical Collection. Faulkner then used them in his writings set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County.

Wolff-King will discuss her research and read from her forthcoming book, Ledgers of History: William Faulkner, an Almost Forgotten Friendship, and an Antebellum Plantation Diary (LSU Press, Oct. 2010).

Wolff-King linked Faulkner with the journal thanks to a conversation with Dr. Edgar Wiggin Francisco III, great-great-grandson of the diarist, Francis Terry Leak. Francisco’s father, Edgar Wiggin Francisco Jr., was a life-long friend of Faulkner. Dr. Francisco, who will appear as a guest at the Sept. 15 program, shared with Wolff-King his memories of Faulkner studying and taking copious notes from the diary.

The diary came to the Southern Historical Collection in 1946 from one of Leak’s descendants, who received a typed transcription of the volumes in exchange.  The Southern Historical Collection recently placed scans of the diaries online as part of the Francis Terry Leak Papers.

For information about the Leak Papers, contact the Southern Historical Collection.

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