Features | March 01, 1988

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The manuscripts of “Love” reside in the University of Virginia Library, Manuscripts Collection.  The 49-page typed version from c. 1921 breaks off on the last page, but a three page autograph fragment, apparently from the same time, provides the story’s conclusion.  That three page fragment, while difficult to read because of Faulkner’s peculiar handwriting, corresponds without variation to the story’s ending in the typescript of the later version among the Rowan Oak papers at the University of Mississippi.

In 1921 Beth came across the flagged terrace, her geranium colored dress taut with fury.  She was running, then she saw the man in the wicker chair and she slowed to a walk and approached him, repressing the fury although it still lurked in her walk, though not in her voice.

“Hello,” she said, “Dear.”

The man in the chair was methodically sucking tea into himself.  A gardener was trimming a box hedge below the pool, a crisp maid fluttered in the purlieus of the sunset at the back of the scene, the invariable feminine complement to whatever picture the man in the chair filled, servants with dreams engendered rosily by Scullery out of Moving Pictures watching him from behind window curtains, daughters of preferred stock and six percent.

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