Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County Alive in New Exhibit

By: Anna Ellingburg and Kyndall Cox

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If you’ve read any of William Faulkner’s works, it’s not hard to get a mental image of his fictional Yoknapatawpha County.

Now, you have the opportunity to see how one award-winning photographer has imagined the fictional land.

The University of Mississippi Museum’s new exhibit features photographs by French photographer Alain Desvergnes, shot in the 1960s to depict the imaginary Mississippi town.

Desvergnes, who was a professor at Ole Miss from 1963 to 1965, began to read Faulkner’s works and fell in love with the setting.

“I went to photograph William Faulkner’s landscapes in Mississippi, in order to find there the characters that make appearances in his novels, to sketch the portrait of these figures who’d fascinated me and who I constantly encountered when walking through his lands,” Devergnes said.

The exhibit  contains 116 photographs that were taken in Oxford, France, Canada and Mexico.

“All of them speak to someone in a different way. They are all really wonderful representatives of the ideas behind Faulkner’s books,” said Collections Manager Marti Funke.

The exhibit, which opened March 5, will have an opening reception Thursday, March 7, from 6-8 p.m.

Devergnes is excited to have his family in Oxford for the reception.

“My daughter is coming from Seattle and my son from Paris. It is nice to have them together to celebrate 50 years of life, because it all started at Ole Miss.”

The photographs will remain on display at the museum through Aug. 17.

For more information on the exhibit, visit the University Museum website or call 662-915-7073.

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~ by kyndallc on March 20, 2013.

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