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Yoknapatawpha County: Wikis


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Yoknapatawpha County is a fictional county created by American author William Faulkner as a setting for many of his novels. It is widely believed by scholars that Lafayette County, Mississippi is the basis for Yoknapatawpha County. Faulkner would often refer to it as "my apocryphal county."

Yoknapatawpha county is located in northwestern Mississippi and its seat is the town of Jefferson. This fictional county is bounded on the north by the Tallahatchie River and on the south by the Yoknapatawpha River and has an area of 2,400 mi² (6,200 km²). Most of the eastern half (as well as a small part of the southwest corner) of the county is pine hill country.

The word Yoknapatawpha is pronounced "Yok'na pa TAW pha." It is derived from two Chickasaw words—Yocona and petopha, meaning "split land." Faulkner claimed that the compound means "water flowing slow through the flatland," though this is unverified. Yoknapatawpha was the original name for the actual Yocona River, which runs through the southern part of Lafayette County, of which Oxford is the seat.

The area was originally Chickasaw land. White settlement started around the year 1800. Prior to the Civil War, the county consisted of several large plantations: Louis Grenier's in the southeast, McCaslin's in the northeast, Sutpen's in the northwest, and Compson's and Sartoris's in the immediate vicinity of Jefferson. Later, the county became mostly small farms. By 1936, the population was 15,611, of which 6,298 were whites and 9,313 were black.

Novels and short stories set in Yoknapatawpha County



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