The text of this Norton Critical Edition is that of the corrected edition scrupulously prepared by Noel Polk, whose textual note precedes the text. David Minter's annotations are designed to assist the reader with obscure words and allusions.
"Backgrounds" begins with the appendix Faulkner wrote in 1945 and sometimes referred to as another telling of The Sound and the Fury and includes a selection of Faulkner’s letters, excerpts from two Faulkner interviews, a memoir by Faulkner's friend Ben Wasson, and both versions of Faulkner's 1933 introduction to the novel.
"Cultural and Historical Contexts" presents four different perspectives, two of them new to the second edition, on the place of the American South in history. Taken together, these works—by C. Vann Woodward, Richard H. King, Carolyn Porter, and Robert Penn Warren—provide the reader with valuable contexts for understanding the novel.
"Criticism" includes seventeen essays on The Sound and the Fury that collectively trace changes in the way we have viewed this novel over the last four decades. The critics are Jean-Paul Sartre, Irving Howe, Ralph Ellison, Olga W. Vickery, Cleanth Brooks, Michael Millgate, John T. Irwin, Myra Jehlen, Donald M. Kartiganer, David Minter, Warwick Wadlington, John T. Matthews, Thadious M. Davis, Wesley Morris and Barbara Alverson Morris, Minrose C. Gwin, André Bleikasten, and Philip M. Weinstein. A revised Selected Bibliography also is included.