Cover

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Title, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-ix

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Introduction

Jay Watson

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pp. 1-14

on the sweltering afternoon of July 7, 1962, the town of oxford, Mississippi, paused to pay its final respects to its most famous native son. William Faulkner had suffered a heart attack and died early Friday morning, July 6, at Wright’s sanitarium in Byhalia, Mississippi. Among those who traveled to oxford for the funeral was William styron, a young virginia novelist much influenced by Faulkner’s work. According to styron’s moving account of the funeral, which ...

Note on the Conference

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pp. 15-22

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Faulkner and the World Culture of the Global South

Ramón Saldívar

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pp. 23-39

i begin my discussion of the relationship between William Faulkner and the category of the “global south” with a word about terminology. the first observation worth making about the current state of American studies is that a new vocabulary for naming and studying what we used to call “the third world” has emerged in the last twenty years or so, representing a battery of interesting alternatives for us to consider. Why these vocabularies, arising primarily from the...

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Considering the Unthinkable: The Risks and Rewards of Decanonizing Faulkner

Deborah Clarke

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pp. 40-50

in 1983 Richard Brodhead put together a New Perspectives volume of work on Faulkner, a sequel to Robert Penn Warren’s 1966 collection. in his introduction, Brodhead lays out a provocative claim: we do Faulkner a disservice by taking his greatness for granted. “the trouble with current readers is more likely to be that they do know how to read him—that, armed with the weapons that Faulkner criticism and academic instruction have made standard...

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Yoknapatawpha Pulp, or What Faulkner Really Read at the P.O.

David M. Earle

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pp. 51-65

Faulkner has a reputation as a modernist writer and as a mythic writer; of that we can be sure. But a bit more problematic is the idea of Faulkner as a popular writer. We understand Faulkner’s use of the populist forms of storytelling as limited to the tall tale, the fable, even classic myth, manifest in either highbrow novels or commercial short stories. recontextualizing or reembedding Faulkner’s work in the field of working-class magazines forces us to reevaluate those relationships. such proletarian texts have been, for the most part, ...

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“Things Are Back to Normal Again”: Reassessing Soldiers’ Pay

Jason D. Fichtel

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pp. 66-76

Olga Vickery begins her analysis of Soldiers’ Pay by framing Faulkner’s first novel in terms of “apprenticeship,” arguing that the techniques and themes Faulkner employs in the novel are only in their beginning stages of development. However, despite their “uncertainty and even crudeness,” they are worthwhile to explore further, even though they do not carry the weight or significance that they do in his later works.2 indeed, Vickery asserts that, in Soldiers’ Pay, Faulkner...

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“Born Again”: Faulkner and the Second Birth

Hortense J. Spillers

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pp. 77-98

William Faulkner has been placed in conversation with many of the world’s systematic thinkers and writers, and we may now add W. E. B. Du Bois to that distinguished company, though the encounter that I am staging here is indirect: it pulls from the canon of Faulkner and early Du Bois two respectively divergent conceptual frames, one of them fictional, or fictitious, in the case of Faulkner, the other philosophical and sociohistorical in the case of Du Bois. Actually, we might commence with a footnote—it was fifty years ago, Jul...

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Hail Faulkner? A Fable, Competitive Modernism, and “the Nobelist” in the 1950s

Joseph Fruscione

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pp. 99-114

February 20, 1953: one of several moments in ernest Hemingway’s career when his competitiveness meets his quasi-sacrilege: i hope Mr. Faulkner never forgets himself and gives it to the deity with his corn cob. it is nice to know he has good taste and judgement but, as one of my oldest friends, remember never to trust a man with a southern accent and never trust a God-hopper either north or south of the Macy-Dixie line. . . . Lillian i cannot help but think that people who talk about God as though they knew him intimately and had received the Word etc. are frauds. Faulkner has always been fairly fraudulent but...

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Phillips’s Termite and Faulkner’s Benjy: What Disability?

Terrell L. Tebbetts

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pp. 115-126

Jayne Anne Phillips’s 2009 Lark and Termite explicitly invites readers to consider its relation to The Sound and the Fury. even before its narrative begins, it offers words from Faulkner’s masterpiece as an epigraph: Father’s words to Quentin assuring him that “no battle is ever won” and that “victory is an illusion.” Like The Sound and the Fury, it structures its narratives in four sections headed by dates, not 1910 and 1928 but 1950 and 1959. Also like The Sound and the Fury it varies its narrative points of view, using the first person for some...

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Pictures and Words in Faulkner’s Early Graphic Work

Randall Wilhelm

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pp. 127-141

If Faulkner enjoyed telling people he was “a failed poet,” he could have just as easily referred to himself as “a failed cartoonist,” since, as Joseph Blotner suggests, Faulkner apparently carried the desire to be a graphic artist into his twenties, even hoping to find employment as an illustrator in new York during his brief residence there in 1921. 1 in exploring his work as a maker of images, it is important to note that Faulkner did not first express himself in the visual ...

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“Ravel Out into the No-Wind, No-Sound”: The Audiophonic Form of As I Lay Dying

Julie Beth Napolin

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pp. 142-157

In the conclusion of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying (1930), just before Darl will be sent to Jackson to be institutionalized, Cash overhears recorded music in the air. it comes from a nearby window, wafting out of Mrs. Bundren’s home, where the family has stopped to borrow shovels for the burial of Addie. the Bundren wagon approaches “that little new house, where the music was.”2 Cash thinks to himself, “it’s a comfortable thing, music is. . . . the music...

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Addie Bundren Lives! Feminist Bodies in Valerie Bettis’s Modern Dance Adaptation of As I Lay Dying

Michael P. Bibler

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pp. 158-173

In January 1949, William Faulkner’s Addie Bundren not only rejected the finality of death, as she always does, but she walked onto a new York stage and danced. this was not the first time Addie had appeared onstage, nor would it be the last. in 1935 the French mime artist Jean Louis Barrault translated Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying into an avant-garde performance that revolutionized the French theater, and in more recent years no fewer than a dozen artists have

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Ricky Bobby’s William Faulkner: Talladega Nights and the Transnational South

Matthew Pratt Guterl

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pp. 174-187

At the very close of the 2006 film Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, William Faulkner makes a surprising appearance. More specifically, as the credits conclude, just before the screen fades to black, we enter a softly lit bedroom, full of lace-trimmed pillows, where two small children are bookending their grandmother, who is reading the final lines of “the Bear.” she whispers Boon...

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Reading the Forms of History: Plantation Ledgers and Modernist Experimentation in William Faulkner’s “The Bear”

Patrick E. Horn, Jessica Martell, Zackary Vernon

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pp. 188-208

The discovery that William Faulkner repeatedly perused the antebellum ledgers of Francis terry Leak, a Mississippi planter, lawyer, and entrepreneur, has opened new avenues of critical inquiry into Faulkner’s fiction. in Ledgers of History (2010), sally Wolff reveals that Faulkner spent hours with the volumes, taking notes and even exclaiming angrily at the long-deceased diarist. Faulkner’s reading of the ledgers is restaged in part four of “the Bear,” at the ...

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Faulkner and the Inheritors of Slavery

David A. Davis

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pp. 209-219

Faulkner’s 1940 short story “Pantaloon in Black” opens in a cemetery where rider is burying his wife, Mannie. Before the scene closes, Faulkner lingers on Mannie’s grave and the mysterious objects and crude markings that distinguish the individual gravesites. “At last the grave,” Faulkner writes, “save for its rawness, resembled any other marked off without order about the barren plot by shards of pottery and broken bottles and old...

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“We—He and Us—Should Confederate”: Stylistic Inversion in Intruder in the Dust and Faulkner’s Cold War Agenda

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pp. 220-231

At the conclusion of Intruder in the Dust, Lucas Beauchamp insists on paying the attorney, Gavin stevens, for defending him against the charge of having murdered a white man, vinson Gowrie, although Gavin had in fact done nothing to exonerate Lucas. rather, Gavin’s sixteen-year-old nephew, Chick Mallison, had, with the aid of a black boy, Aleck sander, and an aged spinster, Miss Habersham, cleared Lucas by digging up vinson’s grave, demonstrating first that the body had ...

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Long Faulkner: Charting Legacy on a Civil Rights Continuum

Ted Atkinson

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pp. 232-241

Elasticity is all the rage in critical paradigm shifts that produce expansive spatial and temporal models unfettered by traditional disciplinary boundaries and periodizations. this trend has inspired the argument that we should be able to envision in reconfigured measurements of time and space not just the civil rights movement—a roughly decade-long span that constitutes the “classical” period of activism waged almost exclusively in the Us south—but a broad movement transcending temporal markers and regional boundaries that...

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“Who Was William Faulkner to Them?”: Racial Liberals and Civil Rights Workers in the Civil Rights Era

Sharon Monteith

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pp. 242-255

Literary scholar Louis rubin once imagined the ghost of Faulkner on the University of Mississippi campus in 1962. He mused “i think perhaps he would have put on his coat and tie and hat and gone over to the campus and stood quietly alongside of James Meredith. Would it have made any difference? i doubt it. Most of the citizens who milled about the campus would not have known who he was, or if they had, they would not have cared. Who was William Faulkner to...

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“You Cant Know. You’re the Wrong Color”: Faulkner’s Copernican Revolution in The Reivers

François Pitavy

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pp. 256-262

The Reivers was published on June 4, 1962. Faulkner died a month later, on July 6. the natural tendency of literary history to shape mere chronology into destiny has often led criticism into reading this last novel as a farewell discourse in which the tempest of life is placated by a smiling Prospero—as the light-hearted conclusion of a career that had produced some of the darkest novels of the t...

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Looking Back at Social Change in The Reivers

Richard C. Moreland

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pp. 263-273

Faulkner’s last novel, The Reivers (1962), looks back at social change in his own life and career, including the longer history of social change represented within his fiction. Like edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward (1888), though less explicitly, it also suggests the shape of changes yet to come, changes that sometimes felt “too fast”1 for Faulkner and many of his contemporaries, who often preferred to “go slow” when it came to the civil rights movement and other, related social changes. subtitled “A reminiscence,”...

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“What the Future Will Now Bring Forth”: Reminiscing for Posterity in The Reivers

Cheryl Lester

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pp. 274-287

While Faulkner was composing The Reivers, James Meredith was seeking legal redress for the denial of his application for admission to the University of Mississippi. thanks to Meredith’s efforts, oxford, Mississippi, would soon become the battleground of the 1962 insurrection and occupation that, in William Doyle’s judgment, “crushed forever the southern strategy of ‘massive resistance’ to integration.”1 this moment of the freedom struggle might be s...

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William Faulkner and the Southern Way of Death

Charles Reagan Wilson

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pp. 288-298

in William Faulkner’s brooding novel of the south, Absalom, Absalom!, Shreve McCannon asks Quentin Compson, his southern roommate at Harvard, about the south. “Tell about the South. What’s it like there. What do they do there. Why do they live there. Why do they live at all.”1 shreve might well have added to his list of questions another concern: how do they die in the south? southern culture is steeped in an awareness of, and sometimes an obsession with, death. Faulkner novels and short stories such as As I Lay Dying...

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The Performative Funeral and Identity Formation in Go Down, Moses

Elizabeth Fielder

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pp. 299-314

this quote from Faulkner’s final novel, The Reivers (1962), concludes a conversation running throughout his oeuvre about the relationship between death and social ritual, in which the reality of death’s “constant familiar” contrasts with the actions of the living. in this essay, i look at how Faulkner positioned death as a central component to his characters’ crafting of social identity through ritual and performance. Faulkner repeatedly presents images of...

Contributors

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pp. 315-319

Index

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pp. 320-328