restricted access Dangerous Return: The Narratives of Jurisgenesis in Faulkner's Requiem for a Nun
Abstract

Legal scholar Robert Cover's concept of jurisgenesis, the creation of legal meaning by polities, offers a revealing window into the historical prologues and dramatic action of William Faulkner's Requiem for a Nun. Cover's work clarifies how Faulkner's character Nancy Mannigoe, an African American domestic convicted of infanticide, exhibits a nomos, or normative vision, to rival that of Yoknapatawpha County's official legal system. The text, however, remains evasive about the imaginative sources of Nancy's nomos in the antinomian power of contemporaneous civil rights activity, whose spectacles of collective black political agency triggered a troubling form of censorship in Faulkner's artistic vision.


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