William Faulkner - To the Voters of Oxford - The Beer Broadside - Oxford Eagle, 1950, First Edition.


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Oxford, MI, Oxford Eagle, 1950. First Edition. First Impression. Unbound. Single leaf broadside, printed on recto only. Lightly toned and foxed, short split at head. A very good copy. Faulkner?s infamous ?beer broadside? was distributed in his home town of Oxford prior to a referendum on the repeal of a local ban on the sale of beer, implemented in 1944. Faulkner refuted four of the claims made by clergymen in favour of the ban, after they had printed an advertisement in the local paper, the Oxford Eagle, ?proclaiming the evils of drinking and the potency of four percent beer? (Blotner, p. 521). The Eagle refused to publish Faulkner?s response to the clergymen, but agreed to print his broadside for circulation. It went on to be published in The New Yorker, and was described by editors as ?the clearest and most concise prose? that Faulkner had ever written. However, to Faulkner?s dismay, the ban was not overturned after Oxford voted 480-313 to renew it. In a follow-up letter to the editors of the Eagle, which they did publish, Faulkner wrote ?I notice that your paper has listed me among the proponents of legal beer. I resent that. I am every inch as much an enemy of liberty and enlightenment and progress as any voting or drinking dry either in Oxford... I object to ministers of God violating the canons and ethics of their sacred and holy avocation by using, either openly or underhand, the weight and power of their office to try to influence a civil election? (Moreland, p. 414). The ban was partially overturned in 1972: the sale of beer was allowed, but could not be refrigerated, or sold on a Sunday. The remaining restrictions were overturned in 2013. Petersen D15a; Blotner, Faulkner: A Biography; Moreland, A Companion to William Faulkner. [8790, Hyraxia Books].

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