In this Book

Faulkner and Mystery
summary

Faulkner and Mystery presents a wide spectrum of compelling arguments about the role and function of mystery in William Faulkner's fiction. Twelve new essays approach the question of what can be known and what remains a secret in the narratives of the Nobel laureate. Scholars debate whether or not Faulkner's work attempts to solve mysteries or celebrate the enigmas of life and the elusiveness of truth.

Scholars scrutinize Faulkner's use of the contemporary crime and detection genre as well as novels that deepen a plot rather than solve it. Several essays are dedicated to exploring the narrative strategies and ideological functions of Faulkner's take on the detective story, the classic "whodunit." Among Faulkner's novels most interested in the format of detection is Intruder in the Dust, which assumes a central role in this essay collection.

Other contributors explore the thickening mysteries of racial and sexual identity, particularly the enigmatic nature of his female and African American characters. Questions of insight, cognition, and judgment in Faulkner's work are also at the center of essays that explore his storytelling techniques, plot development, and the inscrutability of language itself.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. ix-xxii
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  1. Note on the Conference
  2. pp. xxiii-2
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  1. “And you are ——?”: Faulkner’s Mysteries of Race and Identity
  2. Philip Weinstein
  3. pp. 3-18
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  1. The Blackness of Absalom, Absalom!
  2. Donald M. Kartiganer
  3. pp. 19-48
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  1. Reading " Red Leaves": Mouths, Labor Power, and Revolutions
  2. Richard Godden
  3. pp. 49-66
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  1. "Nice Believing": Mystery and Mysteries Light in August
  2. Sean McCann
  3. pp. 67-89
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  1. "To Survive What Looked Out": The Forensic Trail and William Faulkner's
  2. Rachel Watson
  3. pp. 90-106
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  1. The Mysterious Case of the Cold War Imaginary: Faulkner’s Intruder in the Dust and Paul Bowles’s The Sheltering Sky
  2. Hosam Aboul-Ela
  3. pp. 107-122
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  1. Critical Intruders: Unraveling Race and Mystery in Intruder in the Dust
  2. Esther Sánchez-Pardo
  3. pp. 123-138
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  1. Reimagining the Femme Fatale: Requiem for a Nun and the Lessons of Film Noir
  2. Susan V. Donaldson
  3. pp. 139-161
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  1. Open Spaces, Open Secrets: Sanctuary’s Mysterious “Something”
  2. Lisa Hinrichsen
  3. pp. 162-177
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  1. Unvanquished Uncertainty
  2. Sarah Mahurin
  3. pp. 178-191
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  1. Faulkner's Plots
  2. Michael Gorra
  3. pp. 192-205
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  1. "It Just Doesn't Explain": "The Leg," "Mistral," Evelyn Nesbit, and the Unreadable World
  2. Noel Polk
  3. pp. 206-224
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. 225-228
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 229-234
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