In this Book

summary

In William Faulkner, Richard Godden traces how the novelist's late fiction echoes the economic and racial traumas of the South's delayed modernization in the mid-twentieth century. As the New Deal rapidly accelerated the long-term shift from tenant farming to modern agriculture, many African Americans were driven from the land and forced to migrate north. At the same time, white landowners exchanged dependency on black labor for dependency on northern capital. Combining powerful close readings of The Hamlet, Go Down, Moses, and A Fable with an examination of southern economic history from the 1930s to the 1950s, Godden shows how the novels' literary complexities--from their narrative structures down to their smallest verbal emphases--reflect and refract the period's economic complexities. By demonstrating the interrelation of literary forms and economic systems, the book describes, in effect, the poetics of an economy.

Original in the way it brings together close reading and historical context, William Faulkner offers innovative interpretations of late Faulkner and makes a unique contribution to the understanding of the relation between literature and history.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-10
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  1. CHAPTER ONE: Earthing The Hamlet
  2. pp. 11-41
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  1. CHAPTER TWO: Comparative Cows: Reading The Hamlet for Its Residues
  2. pp. 42-59
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  1. CHAPTER THREE: Revenants, Remnants, and Counterrevolution in “The Fire and the Hearth”
  2. pp. 60-86
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  1. CHAPTER FOUR: “Pantaloon in Black” and “The Old People”: Migration, Mourning, and the Exquisite Corpse of African American Labor
  2. pp. 87-118
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  1. CHAPTER FIVE: Reading the Ledgers: Textual Variants and Labor Variables (with Noel Polk)
  2. pp. 119-155
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  1. CHAPTER SIX: Find the Jew: Modernity, Seriality, and Armaments in A Fable
  2. pp. 156-178
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  1. CHAPTER SEVEN: “The Bugger’s a Jew”: A Fable as Melancholic Allegory
  2. pp. 179-202
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 203-234
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 235-251
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781400827916
Print ISBN
9780691130712
MARC Record
OCLC
843152356
Pages
264
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
N
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