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The Wild Palms [If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem]:
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The Wild Palms [If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem]

William Faulkner’s The Wild Palms: A Study

By Thomas McHaney

University Press of Mississippi

ISBN: 0878050701

Published 1975

The Wild Palms: Typescript

By Thomas McHaney



ISBN: 082406819X

Published 1986

The Wild Palms: A Concordance to the Novel

By Kenneth L. Privratsky

UMI Research Press

ISBN: 0835710491

Published 1983


The Title
Character List

The Title

The book was first published, against Faulkner’s wishes, as The Wild Palms, the title of one of the novellas in the book. His original title for the book, If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem (which has been added to recent published editions of the book), is derived from Psalms 137:5 in the Bible.

    By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
    We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
    For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song: and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
    How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?
    If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
    If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
    Remember, O Lord, the children of Edom in the days of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.
    O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.
    Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stone.
Psalms 137:1-9 (KJV)

Character List

Names in bold face indicate major or significant characters.

The Wild Palms

  • Bradley
  • Bradley, Mrs.
  • Buckner (Buck)
  • Buckner, Mrs. Billie (Bill)
  • Callaghan
  • Cofer
  • Crowe
  • De Montigny
  • Doc
  • Flint
  • Gillespie
  • Gower
  • Hogben
  • Louisa
  • McCord (Mac)
  • Martha
  • Pete
  • Ralph
  • Richardson, Dr.
  • Rittenmeyer, Ann
  • Rittenmeyer, Charlotte
  • Rittenmeyer, Charlotte (Mrs. Wilbourne)
  • Rittenmeyer, Francis (Rat)
  • Wilbourne, Dr.
  • Wilbourne, Henry (Harry)

Old Man

  • Bledsoe
  • Buckworth
  • Cajan, the
  • Convict, the
  • Hamp
  • Waldrip, Mrs. Vernon


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How to cite this page (MLA style):

Padgett, John B. “The Wild Palms [If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem]: Resources.” William Faulkner on the Web. 17 Aug. 2006. Ed. John B. Padgett. U of Mississippi. 27 Jul. 2017 <>.

This page was last modified on Thursday, August 17, 2006, at 03:20 PM CDT.
Copyright © 1995 – 2006 by John B. Padgett.
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