A native of St. Louis, Louis Daniel Brodsky became seriously interested in William Faulkner in 1959 when, as an undergraduate student at Yale University, he studied Faulkner's novels and stories in R. W. B. Lewis's course in American Studies. Shortly thereafter, with the help of New Haven book dealer Henry Wenning, he began to acquire first editions and inscribed copies of Faulkner's books.

Over the next 30 years Brodsky gradually but persistently built his collection to a "world class" status, expanding his holdings to include manuscripts, letters, movie scripts, legal documents, photographs, and drawings, as well as books. In 1988, Brodsky transferred ownership of his collection to Southeast Missouri State University, but he continued to serve as curator of the materials, further developing the collection on behalf of the University. The following year the University created the Center for Faulkner Studies, with Robert W. Hamblin, Brodsky's collaborator, as the founding director.

In addition to being an outstanding book collector, Brodsky was a noted Faulkner scholar and poet. He authored William Faulkner: Life Glimpses, a collection of biographical essays; and he co-edited, with Hamblin, a number of books and articles, including the multi-volume Faulkner: A Comprehensive Guide to the Brodsky Collection. Brodsky also published 83 volumes of poetry (more than 12,000 poems in all), three of which (Mississippi Vistas, Disappearing in Mississippi Latitudes, and Mistress Mississippi) deal with Faulknerian themes and settings. His book, You Can't Go Back, Exactly, won the 2004 Award for the Best Book of Poetry from the Center for Great Lakes Culture at Michigan State University. His last book, The Words of My Mouth and the Meditations of My Heart, a series of reflections based on the Book of Psalms, was written during his final year-long struggle with brain cancer.

Louis Daniel Brodsky, poet, businessman, and scholar, whose outstanding Faulkner collection became the basis for the creation of the Center for Faulkner Studies, died at his home in St. Louis on June 16, 2014.

The Collector's Favorites

Although the Brodsky Collection contains thousands of pieces, the collector himself compiled a list of his 101 favorites.

The Brodsky Collection is one of the world's most outstanding gatherings of Faulkner books. It includes texts written by Faulkner (more than 200 are signed or inscribed by him) and books from the author's personal collection. The Brodsky Book Collection includes signed, limited editions, first trade editions with dust jackets, autographed and inscribed copies, various states of bindings and printings, and numerous association copies.

Some Imagist Poets: An Anthology. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin and Company, 1915. First edition, first printing. Phil Stone's copy, rebound and hand lettered on cover and spine by Faulkner. "One of the exciting, innovative books of contemporary poetry to which Phil exposed his student Bill. Faulkner cherished the book so much he read the covers off it and rebound it by hand." LDB
Faulkner, William. The Lilacs. Fire-damaged remains of a handcrafted booklet of thirteen poems that Faulkner presented to Phil Stone in 1920.

Cabell, James Branch. Jurgen. New York: Robert W. McBride & Company, 1919. First edition, thirteenth printing (September 1923). Inscribed to Faulkner by Phil Stone, Christmas 1923. Also signed by Stone.

Quiller-Couch, Arthur, ed. The Oxford Book of English Verse. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924. Faulkner's signed, personal copy. "Surely, for the young Billy Faulkner, who dreamed of becoming a great poet, this anthology must have been the quintessential book in his personal library." LDB

Faulkner, William. The Marble Faun. Preface by Phil Stone. Boston: Four Seas Company, 1924. First edition, only printing, with a dust jacket. Presentation copy inscribed by Faulkner "To Myrtle Ramey, my old friend and school mate." Also inscribed to Ramey by Stone. "The singular title that Faulkner collectors covet. To find one signed by both the author and his mentor is absolutely staggering." LDB

Faulkner, William. The Marble Faun. First edition, only printing, with a dust jacket. Presentation copy inscribed by Faulkner to Joe Parks, the Oxford banker who is thought by some to be the model for Flem Snopes in Faulkner's fiction. "Perhaps the most ironic of all Faulkner inscriptions. Maybe the only time Faulkner condescended to sign a book for someone he didn't like." LDB

Sherwood Anderson & Other Famous Creoles: A Gallery of Contemporary New Orleans. Drawings by William Spratling; arrangement and foreword by Faulkner. New Orleans: Pelican Bookshop Press, 1926. First edition, first issue, in decorative boards. Unnumbered out-of-series copy inscribed by Spratling. Laid in are two copies of prospectus on which Spratling has identified the persons caricatured in the book.

Faulkner, William. Soldiers' Pay. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1926. First edition, first printing. Inscribed by Faulkner to Hubert Starr.

Faulkner, William. Mosquitoes. New York: Boni and Liveright, 1927. First edition, first printing. Presentation copy inscribed by Faulkner to his great-aunt, Alabama ('Bama) McLean.

Faulkner, William. The Wishing-Tree. Handmade cope that Faulkner typed, bound, and presented to Victoria Franklin for her eighth birthday, February 5, 1927.                  "Ostensibly a gift to his future stepdaughter but actually a love offering to her mother. One of only four or five one-of-a-kind Faulkner books." LDB

Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. New York: Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, 1930. First edition, first printing (second state). Inscribed: "To Jim Devine, / Baron of Hoboken, / from his friend Bill Faulkner, / Earl of Beerinstein." "This zany inscription records Faulkner amusing himself at one of his favorite pastimes--tippling." LDB

Faulkner, William. Sanctuary. New York: Jonathan Cape & Harrison Smith, 1931. First edition, first printing. Presentation copy inscribed by Faulkner to Ben Wasson, one of Faulkner's early editors."Ben told me that he cherished this book because it reminded him of the period when he and Faulkner were especially close." LDB

Hudson, W.H. Green Mansions. New York: Modern Library, circa 1931. Faulkner's signed, personal copy.

Hardy, Thomas. Jude the Obscure. New York: Modern Library, circa 1931. Faulkner's signed, personal copy.

Hardy, Thomas. Tess of the d'Urbervilles. New York: Modern Library, 1932. Faulkner's signed, personal copy.

Faulkner, William. Idyll in the Desert. New York: Random House, 1931. First edition, only printing. Out-of-series number of signed, limited edition of 400 copies. Faulkner's signed, personal copy.

Faulkner, William. Salmagundi. Milwaukee: Casanova Press, 1932. Only edition, only printing, in printed wrappers, with maroon slip case. Number 30 of a limited edition of 525 copies. Inscribed by Faulkner to Hubert Starr.

Faulkner, William. Miss Zilphia Gant. Dallas: Book Club of Texas, 1932. First edition, only printing. Number 114 of a limited edition of 300 copies. Faulkner's signed, personal copy. "Difficult enough to find this title. To own the author's copy is rarity itself." LDB

Faulkner, William. A Green Bough. New York: Harrison Smith and Robert Haas, 1933. First edition, first trade printing, with dust jacket. Doubly inscribed by Faulkner: "For Aunt Bama / with love / William [slanted arrow pointed above]/ not through mistake but affection, / besides she owns us both anyway. / To Cousin Vance Carter Broach / From Cousin William Faulkner."

James, Alice, ed. Mississippi Verse. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1934. First edition, first printing, with a dust jacket. Reprints seven Faulkner poems from A Green Bough. Used by the original owner, Calvin Brown, Sr., as an autograph book. Contains the signatures of thirty-four "Friends of Culture," including Faulkner, Cleanth Brooks, Roark Bradford, Caroline Tate, Allen Tate, John Gould Fletcher, Lyle Saxon, Robert Penn Warren, and others.

Faulkner, William. Doctor Martino and Other Stories. New York: Harrison Smith and Robert Haas, 1934. First edition, first trade printing. Presentation copy inscribed by Faulkner to his stepdaughter, Victoria Franklin: "For my daughter, Victoria, / her book with love, / from Billy."

Faulkner, William. Pylon. New York: Harrison Smith and Robert Haas, 1935. First edition, first trade printing, with dust jacket. Inscribed by Faulkner to a native Mississippian with whom he spent considerable time in Hollywood in the mid-1930s: "To Hubert Starr, / god damn him / Bill Faulkner." "Delightfully irreverent inscription!" LDB

Faulkner, William. Absalom, Absalom!. New York: Random House, 1936. First edition, first printing, with a dust jacket. Inscribed by Faulkner to Malcolm Cowley.

Faulkner, William. The Unvanquished. New York: Random House, 1938. First edition, first printing. Faulkner's personal copy, signed by Faulkner "Estelle / Jill / William } Faulkner," subsequently given to his editor and confidant, Saxe Commins. "Three Faulkners against the world. The only inscription I've seen in which Faulkner shared ownership with Estelle and Jill." LDB

Faulkner, William. The Snopes Trilogy: The Hamlet. New York: Random House, 1940. First edition, first printing. The Town. New York: Random House, 1957. First edition, first printing, with a dust jacket. The Mansion. New York: Random House, 1959. First edition, first printing, with a dust jacket. Presentation copies inscribed by Faulkner to Phil Stone, the close personal friend to whom each of the Snopes volumes is dedicated. "The goal of every book collector is to acquire a book inscribed by an author. A second goal might be to obtain a presentation copy inscribed to a dedicatee. Acquiring all three volumes of the Snopes trilogy inscribed to Stone gave me the sensation of scoring a hat trick." LDB

Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. London: Chatto & Windus, 1935. First British edition, first printing, with a dust jacket. Inscribed by Faulkner to his stepson in 1946: "For my son, Malcolm Franklin."

The Portable Faulkner. Ed. with introduction by Malcolm Cowley. New York: Viking Press, 1946. First edition, first printing, with a dust jacket. Inscribed by Faulkner to Cowley. "Generally acknowledged as the book that rescued Faulkner's literary reputation from obscurity. I can still recall reading the letter in which Malcolm wrote, in effect, 'I do have one book left, but I doubt you'll want it because it's all battered and taped. It's my teaching copy of the Portable that Faulkner inscribed for me.' I had never wanted a book more." LDB

The Portable Faulkner. First edition, first printing, with dust jacket, 1946. Presentation copy inscribed by Cowley to Faulkner.

Faulkner, William. The Sound and the Fury. New York: Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, 1929. First edition, third printing. Inscribed by Faulkner: "To Malcolm Cowley / Who beat me to what / was to have been the / leisurely pleasure of my / old age.""Written to thank Cowley for his careful, sensitive editing of The Portable Faulkner. Surely one of the most scintillating and sincere inscriptions Faulkner ever wrote." LDB

Faulkner, William. Notes on a Horsethief. Greenville, Mississippi: Levee Press, 1950. First edition, only printing. Number 140 of signed, limited edition. Presentation copy inscribed by Faulkner to Mrs. Ben Wasson, Sr.: "For Mrs. Wasson, with love, / A lady who has remained / completely unspoiled by my / success." "I can still hear Ben laughing as he read this inscription to me." LDB

Faulkner, William. The Nobel Prize Speech. New York: Spiral Press, March 1951. Pamphlet, in gray wrappers printed in red and black. One of a third printing of 1000 copies. Presentation copy inscribed by Faulkner to Saxe Commins.

Faulkner, William. Le bruit et la fureur. Trans. with a preface by Maurice E. Coindreau. Paris: Gallimard, 1938. First French edition, S.P. copy in printed wrappers. Presentation copy inscribed by Faulkner to Joan Williams upon the occasion of his visit with her at Bard College."Faulkner, age 53, to Joan, age 23. Still in pursuit of romance." LDB

Faulkner, William. Requiem for a Nun. New York: Random House, 1951. First edition, first printing, with a dust jacket. Presentation copy inscribed by Faulkner to Phil Stone. Contains Stone's marginal notations, one of which reads: "I suppose a Faulkner would think he could write a play allright just as he would think he could take God's place and handle the job as well--perhaps a little better than God does.""For me, these carping remarks show Stone's jealousy over the fact that the student had long since outdistanced the teacher." LDB

Einstein, Albert. Ideas and Opinions. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1954. First edition, first printing, with a dust jacket. Presentation copy inscribed by Einstein to Faulkner and given to Faulkner at Saxe Commins' house in Princeton in August 1954."It staggers me to realize that both these Nobel Prize winners once held this book." LDB

Faulkner, William. Big Woods. New York: Random House, 1955. First edition, first printing, with a dust jacket. Inscribed by Faulkner to Saxe Commins, the dedicatee, and his wife Dorothy.

Tolson, Melvin B. Rendezvous with America. New York: Dodd, Mead, & Company, 1944. First edition, second printing. Presentation copy inscribed in 1956 by Tolson, a black poet and playwright, to Faulkner, whom Tolson called "a rock in a weary land."

Faulkner, William. The Reivers. New York: Random House, 1962. First edition, first printing, with a dust jacket. Presentation copy inscribed by Faulkner, just three weeks before his death, to Emily and Phil Stone.

Galley proofs are not only exceedingly rare, since only a few copies are printed for authors, editors, and reviewers, but are also extremely useful in studying the final revisions that the author made prior to publication.

Galley proof of Absalom, Absalom!, 1936.
"One of only two known galleys of the novel considered by many to be the finest by any 20th-century American writer." LDB

Galley proof of The Hamlet, 1940.

Galley proof of A Fable, 1954. With ending that differs from that of published novel.

Page proof of Big Woods, 1955. Malcolm Cowley's review copy.

Galley proof of The Wishing Tree, 1967. Hand-corrected by Victoria Franklin Fielden, to whom Faulkner had given the original handmade book forty years earlier.

The Brodsky Collection contains more than 2,000 pages of holograph and typescript manuscripts of published and unpublished fiction, poetry, plays, and essays by Faulkner. Included are initial, intermediate, and final drafts that shed considerable light on Faulkner's creative and revisionary process.

"L'Apres-Midi d'un Faune." Autograph manuscript in pencil, 15 lines, on torn fragment of front cover of the August 31, 1918 Saturday Evening Post. Quite possibly the first draft of the opening stanza of Faulkner's first published work, which appeared in the August 6, 1919 issue of New Republic."This manuscript has a special personal poignancy for me because it served as the basis for the first scholarly article that my friend Bob Hamblin and I published in collaboration. It lighted the way." LDB

"The Lilacs." Autograph manuscript in pencil, 5 pages (3 leaves). Partial early drafts of poem first published in the June 1925 issue of the Double Dealer.

The Stone Fragments. Ribbon typescript and autograph manuscript in pencil. Ten partially burned leaves of early Faulkner poetry, salvaged with other materials from the ruins of Phil Stone's house after its destruction by fire in 1942. "Even though I knew that another collector had previously declined these materials because of their damaged condition, I still felt that their uniqueness overrode all other considerations. I dared not pass them up." LDB

"Mississippi Poems." Carbon typescript, 14 pages. Group of twelve poems that Faulkner inscribed and presented to a friend and former classmate, Myrtle Ramey, on December 30, 1924.

"Wash." Autograph manuscript in blue ink, 8 pages; autograph manuscript in blue ink, 12 pages; ribbon typescript with autograph corrections, 22 pages. Three early drafts of short story first published in 1934 and subsequently incorporated into Absalom, Absalom!."These manuscripts are so physically beautiful to me I'd like to frame each one and hang them, like pieces of art, on my wall." LDB

The Hamlet. Carbon typescript, two bound volumes, 593 pages. Presentation copy inscribed by Faulkner to his godson, Philip Alston Stone, Christmas 1945.                              "How many collectors ever have the thrill of acquiring the manuscript of a complete novel?" LDB

"Never Be Afraid." Ribbon typescript, 3 pages. Commencement address Faulkner delivered to his daughter Jill's graduating class, Oxford High School, May 28, 1951.

Requiem for a Nun. Ribbon typescript, carbon typescript, and autograph manuscript, 40 pages (33 leaves). Miscellaneous manuscript pages from early drafts of this 1951 play/novel.

French Legion of Honor Acceptance Speech, November 12, 1951. Autograph manuscript (in French) in pencil, one page. Quite possibly the only extant manuscript of this speech. Inscribed to Saxe Commins.

Two story fragments, circa 1952. Ribbon typescript with revisions, 1 leaf (recto and verso). Given by Faulkner to his young protege, Joan Williams, who incorporated one of the passages into her novel, The Wintering (1971), which is based partly on her relationship with Faulkner.

"Foreword" to The Faulkner Reader, 1954. Ribbon typescript with autograph corrections, 5 pages.  "Better than anything else that Faulkner ever wrote, this essay captures my own hope as a poet of creating something that will outlast me." LDB

A Fable. Ribbon typescript, carbon typescript, and autograph manuscript, 30 pages (17 leaves). Miscellaneous discarded and revised manuscript pages of the 1954 novel.

"Sepulchre South." Ribbon typescript and autograph manuscript, 6 pages; typescript with autograph corrections, 9 pages. Early versions on semi-autobiographical essay first published in Harper's Bazaar, December 1954.

"A Guest's Impression of New England," 1954. Ribbon typescript with autograph corrections, 3 pages. Early drafts of essay resulting from a drive Faulkner took with Malcolm Cowley in October 1948.

Andres Bello Award Acceptance Speech, April 6, 1961. Autograph manuscript in pencil, 1 page."Discovering and publishing this manuscript, which had been presumed lost, has been one of the exhilarating highlights of my collecting and scholarly career." LDB

Gold Medal for Fiction Acceptance Speech, May 24, 1962. Carbon typescript, 1 page.

Even before he developed into a poet and fictionist, Faulkner displayed a considerable talent for artwork, creating stylized figures in the manner of Aubrey Beardsley and John Held, Jr. Faulkner's interest in the visual arts continued throughout his career, as evidenced most notably by the maps he drew for Absalom, Absalom! and The Portable Faulkner.

Group of ten pen-and-ink cartoons that Faulkner drew in 1913 for a proposed high school class yearbook. Several signed or initialed by Faulkner.

Leaf containing three World War I airplanes (in pencil) and faun with nymph (in black ink) circa 1918."What more tangible evidence could one find to epitomize Faulkner's youthful preoccupation with wartime heroism and mythic romance." LDB

Pen-and-ink drawing of man and woman dancing, circa 1920. Signed, in artistic script, "William Faulkner."

Pencil sketch of house at 620 El Cerco Drive, Santa Monica, California, where Faulkner and his family lived briefly in 1936 while he was working for a movie studio.

"Jefferson & Yoknapatawpha Co. Mississippi 1945." Hand-lettered map, in red and black ink, that Faulkner drew for Malcolm Cowley's edition, The Portable Faulkner.                  "The essence of Faulkner's magical kingdom." LDB

The Brodsky Collection contains approximately 3,000 letters by, to, or about Faulkner. The contents of these letters supply revealing information about Faulkner's life and literary career, his marriage and family, his relationships with friends and associates, and his opinions and convictions.

Faulkner to Mrs. Homer K. Jones, December 2, 1924, signed autograph manuscript, 1 page, with envelope and enclosed typescript copy of poem "Pregnacy" [sic]. Regarding Faulkner's visit in the Joneses' home the previous week and the poem he had recited on that occasion."Received the offer of these items by phone at 10 a.m. one Saturday. On the road to Memphis by noon. Arrived at 5 p.m. to claim the treasure. Back home in Farmington by midnight. I was never one to leave any opportunity to chance." LDB

"Ernest V. Simms" to "Mr. H. Mencken, magazine orthur," November 1, 1925, carbon typescript, 1 page. Satirical letter that Faulkner mailed, along with his humorous poem, "Ode to the Louver," from Paris to Phil Stone.

Faulkner to "Mr. Nathan," November 18, 1941, signed ribbon typescript, 2 pages. Faulkner's evaluation of a movie script based on Harry C. Hervey's novel, The Damned Don't Cry.

Faulkner to Victoria and William Fielden, early April 1943, signed ribbon typescript, 1 page. On various family matters. Includes a recollection of his RAF experiences.                "From Hollywood, missing home and family." LDB

Faulkner to Saxe Commins, July 29, 1952, signed ribbon typescript, 1 page. On Faulkner's physical and emotional problems.

Saxe Commins to his wife Dorothy, October 8, 1952, signed autograph manuscript, 2 pages. Describes one of Faulkner's severe attacks of alcoholism.                                            "The disclosures in this letter wrench my heart." LDB

Faulkner to Phil Mullen, October 1953, signed ribbon typescript, 1 page. Discusses journalists' intrusions upon individuals' right to privacy. Includes: "What a commentary. Sweden gave me the Nobel Prize. France gave me the Legion d'Honneur. All my native land did for me was to invade my privacy over my protest and my plea."

Faulkner to his mother, Maud Falkner. Group of six letters, signed ribbon typescript and autograph manuscript, October 1953-February 1954. On the publication of A Fable and Faulkner's trip to Europe and Egypt to work on Land of the Pharoahs."The terms of endearment in these letters really make me wonder about Faulkner's relationship with his mother and about how that relationship may have affected his attitudes and behavior toward other women." LDB

Faulkner to Saxe Commins, March 14, 1954, signed autograph manuscript, 2 pages. On Faulkner's relationships with Joan Williams and Jean Stein.

Faulkner to Henry F. Pommer, May 1954, signed ribbon typescript, 1 page, at bottom of letter from Pommer to Faulkner. On a textual misprint in Light in August.

Estelle Faulkner to Saxe Commins, November 5, 1956, signed autograph manuscript, 3 pages. On her relationship with Faulkner.                                                                                "Belying all the bad press that Estelle has received, this letter shows her to be a woman of immense compassion, sensitivity, and understanding." LDB

Faulkner to Dorothy Commins, July 18, 1958, Western Union telegram. Regarding the death of Saxe Commins, Faulkner's editor and friend.

Faulkner to Joan Williams, January 4, 1960, signed ribbon typescript with autograph postscript, 1 page. Advice to a young writer and protege.

Faulkner was employed as a scriptwriter for several Hollywood studios, and for periods of varying length, in 1932-33, 1935-37, 1942-45, 1951, and 1953-4. The Brodsky Collection is one of the principal repositories for the scripts that Faulkner wrote for Warner Bros. from 1942 to 1945.

Series of signed contracts for movie work Faulkner did for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Twentieth-Century Fox, 1932-1937.

Faulkner, William. Story treatment of The Damned Don't Cry. Ribbon typescript, 19 pages, circa December 1941.

Faulkner, William. The De Gaulle Story. Ribbon and carbon typescript with autograph revisions, 161 pages, August 1942. The earliest known drafts (subsequently revised) of this unproduced screenplay."With only thirty minutes left in my four-day visit in Buzz Bezzerides' California home, and with a shower towel wrapped around my waist, I opened an inconspicuous compartment in a desk and made perhaps the greatest single find in my collecting career--Faulkner's poorly typed, hand-corrected manuscript of his first Warner Bros. script." LDB

Interoffice memo from Faulkner to producer Robert Buckner, November 19, 1942, carbon typescript, 2 pages. Quarrels with attempts of Free French representatives to convert The De Gaulle Story into a mere propaganda statement."Faulkner's literary credo regarding the superiority of imagination and truth over mere historical fact. In defending this principle Faulkner was forced to take on the entire Free French hierarchy. He lost the battle but won the war." LDB

Faulkner, William. "Country Lawyer." Carbon typescript, 52 pages, March 27, 1943. Treatment loosely based on Bellamy Partridge's book of the same title.                                    "Not really a screenplay. Rather a Faulkner novel that never got written." LDB

Faulkner, William. Battle Cry. Carbon typescript, 143 pages, June 2, 1943. First complete draft of this unproduced screenplay.

Faulkner, William, and Jules Furthman. To Have and Have Not. Carbon typescript with holograph revisions, 110 pages, March-April 1944. Intermediate version of screenplay based on Ernest Hemingway's novel. "What irony! Faulkner helped to turn his chief rival's worst novel into a classic film." LDB

The Brodsky Collection includes more than 2,000 photographs relating to Faulkner's life and career. Many of these have never been published or exhibited. If you choose to copy one of these photos, you assume the responsibility for obtaining the copyright from the appropriate party if you choose to publish the photo.

Faulkner in Paris, 1925. Signed by Odiorne, the photographer."The irresponsible, wandering tramp--free and uninhibited. The elusive, romantic pose he could never quite fulfill or forget." LDB

Faulkner, 1933. Presentation copy inscribed by Faulkner to Alabama McLean."Faulkner at the height of his literary powers and success, to one of the most admired women in his life." LDB

Hunt breakfast at Rowan Oak, May 8, 1938. On back, in Estelle Faulkner's hand, is list of participants.

Faulkner, 1949. Presentation copy inscribed by Faulkner to Victoria "Cho-Cho" Fielden.

Faulkner in Tokyo, 1955. Presentation copy inscribed by Faulkner to Leon Picon.

Faulkner in Athens, 1957. Presentation copy inscribed by Faulkner to Duncan Emrich.

Faulkner in riding habit, 1961. Presentation copy inscribed by Faulkner to his sister-in-law Dorothy Oldham.

"Faulkner's grand gesture toward aristocracy. A far cry from the wandering tramp." LDB

Faulkner, 1962. Presentation copy inscribed by Faulkner to James W. Silver.

Faulkner was not only a world-renowned writer but a unique and complex individual. The biographical materials in the Brodsky Collection relate to Faulkner's private and everyday life as well as to his literary achievements and his stature as a public figure. The Brodsky Collection also contains the Blotner Papers, Joseph Blotner's materials and notes from his research pursuant to writing the two volume biography of Faulkner.

Colonel W.C. Falkner's ledger of the Ripley Railroad Company, 1871-1887. Minutes of business meetings of company founded by Faulkner's great-grandfather, the prototype of the fictional Colonel John Sartoris."Faulkner's fiction made fact." LDB

Ole Miss, 1917-1924. University of Mississippi yearbooks containing artwork and poetry by and biographical information about Faulkner.

Handbill advertising an appearance of "William Faulkner's Air Circus" in Ripley, Mississippi, April 28-29, 1934.

Faulkner's Last Will and Testament. Succession of revisions dating from 1934 to 1954."Once asked about the significance of these copies of Faulkner's will, I replied, 'Think how grateful we are that Shakespeare's will survived'." LDB

Faulkner's recipe for curing pork, circa 1943. Ribbon typescript, 1 page.

Jill Faulkner's report card, 1945-46. Signed by William and Estelle Faulkner.

"First Experimental Balch Hangar-Flying Squadron" citation, 1958. Designed by Faulkner, Joseph Blotner, and Frederick Gwynn, close friends during Faulkner's tenure as Writer-in-Residence at the University of Virginia. Signed pseudonymously, "E.V. Trueblood," by Faulkner.

Faulkner's Hotel Algonquin (New York) registration folio, November 1958-May 1962. Signed by Faulkner. "For an autograph collector one Faulkner signature would be very rare and valuable. To find a cluster of five on one document is breathtaking." LDB

Broadside posted in Oxford store windows the day of Faulkner's funeral, July 7, 1962. Signed by original owner, Phil Stone.

Faulkner's Westclox "Pocket Ben" watch, with chain and fob, purchased circa 1950. Etched onto back, in Faulkner's hand: "Ring Dove / William Faulkner."                                    "My Quentin watch which sits ticking beside my typewriter every day. The single item in the collection I've been unable to part with. One to grow on!" LDB

Seth Berner's Tribute to L.D. Brodsky

I am very sorry to hear of the death of Louis Daniel Brodsky. My reaction to the news, I imagine, will be slightly different from most, for in addition to being a Faulkner fan I am a collector. And in trying to collect Faulkner I say of LD Brodsky what Flannery O'Connor said of Faulkner himself: nobody wants his mule and wagon stalled on the same track the Dixie Limited is roaring down. Brodsky was to collecting Faulkner what Faulkner was to writing, and I, a very humble late-comer, knew that I would never outrun the Master.

One of my greatest moments as a collector came in one of the first years I gave a talk on collecting at the Ole Miss Faulkner Conference. Afterwards, Brodsky, who had been kind enough to sit in, complimented me on a point I had made that he considered both correct and not obvious. Junior collectors live for such moments.

The passing of LD is like the closing of the book on the golden age of Faulkner collecting. Before the internet put everything in reach of everyone, before skyrocketing prices led people to comb attics and put on the market everything found, people wanting to build collections had to learn themselves what they wanted and figure out where they were likely to find it. Building a collection used to take more than money. James Meriwether was not a "collector," but he was the first to try to chronicle what had been published, by whom, when and where; and was instrumental in assembling the first Faulkner exhibition, at Princeton University in 1957. Linton Reynolds Massey assembled for the University of Virginia the first major exhibition of Faulkneriana, in 1959; and Man Working, the resulting bibliography, was for years the definitive text on Faulkner artifacts. They were the pioneers.

Brodsky and Carl Petersen were the greatest there ever was in Faulkner collecting, in or out of institutions. Fierce rivals, not always friends, but they had deepest respect for each other. William Boozer was the third, a somewhat less bright star but still important. William Wisdom's collection was not big but in including several manuscripts, it mattered. Irwin Toby Holtzman was not a Faulkner specialist - he was, perhaps, the greatest collector of American literature generally, and the University of Michigan is proud to own his Faulkner holdings. With the passing of Brodsky the last of the giants has laid down.

Brodsky's contribution to the world of Faulkner studies was far more than simply as a hoarder. He was never just a hoarder. The published bibliographies of his collection are essential reference works. Brodsky himself wrote important articles on Faulkner's textual revisions. He spoke, he participated. And by placing his collection at Southeast Missouri State University, he made available for public use one of if not the finest collections of Faulkner materials to be found in one place. The collection may stay on public display but the loss of the knowledge and experiences of the one who did the hard work himself is irreplaceable.

What the loss of Brodsky means for collecting is sobering. The Universities of Virginia, Texas, Mississippi, and Southeast Missouri will likely continue to try to create worlds of Faulkner under one roof. Otherwise, there is no way of knowing if anyone is still pulling a wagon across the tracks. Not until Jack Ewing put his collection up for auction in 2007 was it known what a strong collection he had. There likely are other Jack Ewings quietly surrounding themselves with the author they love. But there is something wrong when I am now one of the leading individual Faulkner collectors. Calling me the Brodsky of this generation is grossly unfair to Brodsky, for he was the Dixie Limited and I a poor mule trailing in his slipstream.

Louis Daniel Brodsky will be greatly missed, by many people, for many reasons. As a collector, I pay tribute to him as the native people did to the nature and wilderness that shaped them and that even in death survives them (without intending any reference to venom, just to venerability): Ole, Grandfather. You were too big for mere mortals.

-Seth Berner, Fellow Faulkner Collector

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