Such is the case with It is a much debated and studied book.
A story of big-city scandal, it is atypical of canonical Faulkner works and generally not considered among his finest.
In this history, I saw the rules of law, race, class, gender, and morality get pushed off a brothel roof and smashed on the cobblestones below.
I found one instance of a white man from a prominent family who passed as black and spent ten years in the late nineteenth century as a gambler and pimp in this alternate universe.
Interacting with the public, the man obfuscated, exaggerated, and misled.
Scholars and readers alike would agree that there’s nothing simple or straightforward about Faulkner or his work.
Here, as a survey of commercialized vice in Memphis would explain, a maid answered the door, welcomed the guests inside, and called all the residents to greet and mingle with the company.
They had been widows and divorcées in a man’s world, generous and loyal to their families, typically Catholic, most overweight and gaudily attired.
Brothel ownership belonged to a few of them, but also to many prominent citizens as well.
The architect was Robert Church, and the lord was Edward Hull “Boss” Crump.
According to biographer Joseph Blotner, between fall 1920 and fall 1921, Faulkner and his pal Phil Stone regularly trekked the seventy or so miles from Oxford, Mississippi, to Memphis and gallivanted through the big city’s underworld.