A Fable

Added August 13, 2010
  • A Fable
  • William Faulkner
  • Random House, U.S.A. 1954

a-fable_-front_-board_ A Fable was the first novel to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. According to Wikipedia, Faulkner worked for over ten years on this book and considered it his masterpiece.

Even after winning the two biggest American literary awards, however, reviews were mixed, and many considered this one of Faulkner’s lesser stories.

A Fable is World War I story with a strong anti-war theme that was very different subject matter for Faulkner. It is a challenging read, to say the least; full of stream of consciousness, and an intricately, almost obsessively detailed narrative. If you have liked some of Faulkner’s other stream of consciousness work, however, this is well worth the effort. a-fable_-copy_

This is the true first edition, with First Printing stated on the copyright page. Apparently, later first printings were put out with a ‘second state’ dust jacket, the only difference that I can figure out is that the ‘first state’ dust jacket has the date 8/54 marked at the bottom right side of the front flap. The ‘second state’ jacket does not.

a-fable_-front_-cover_ This book seems unread, but it has some fading to the edges and the corners are lightly bumped. The front of the dust jacket has a few closed tears, and there is rubbing and light chipping to the extremities.

Still, this being a first printing in the ‘first state’ dust jacket, even in this good plus/fair condition, prices today would start at about $100. In fine condition, prices go up to about $800.

Random House put out a limited number (1000) copies signed on a special bookplate, and on AbeBooks today those start at about $2000. Not bad really, considering Faulkner’s status a one of literature’s most important figures.

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