'If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem' Is Published

Wild Palms/Old Man is a blend of two stories, a love story and a river story, entitled "Wild Palms" and "Old Man", respectively.

Both stories tell us of a distinct relationship between a man and a woman. The novel starts with the first chapter, "Wild Palms", and continues, alternating the two stories chapter by chapter, until ending with the final chapter, "Old Man".

In an interesting example of literary tribute, Jorge Luis Borges translated the complete novel into Spanish as Las palmeras salvajes (1940), a work that influenced a good number of leading Latin American novelists.

If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem is published here for the first time under Faulkner's title. The novel was originally published on January 19, 1939, under the title of one of its parts, "The Wild Palms," a change made over his objections, and in a text that, while not so drastically changed by editors as that of Absalom, Absalom!, was also edited in ways that altered the texture and meaning of the prose in numerous minor ways, including one instance of bowdlerization: in the typescript, the tall convict's final words to the Warden, and the novel's closing line, is "Women, shit"; in the first printing of the published novel, this line is editorially rendered "Women----!" The editing, however, shows some inconsistency; though the word "shit " was marked out here, where it was easy to see, two other words, "prick" and "cunt", imbedded in the middle of the book, were not altered--and perhaps were not even noticed.