Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Series

Published by: University Press of Mississippi

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Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Series

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Faulkner and Film

edited by Peter Lurie and Ann J. Abadie

Considering that he worked a stint as a screen writer, it will come as little surprise that Faulkner has often been called the most cinematic of novelists. Faulkner’s novels were produced in the same high period as the films of classical Hollywood, a reason itself for considering his work alongside this dominant form. Beyond their era, though, Faulkner’s novels—or the ways in which they ask readers to see as well as feel his world—have much in common with film. That Faulkner was aware of film, and that his novels’ own “thinking” betrays his profound sense of the medium and its effects, broadens the contexts in which he can be considered.

In a range of approaches, the contributors consider Faulkner’s career as a scenarist and collaborator in Hollywood, the ways his screenplay work and the adaptations of his fiction informed his literary writing, and how Faulkner’s craft anticipates, intersects with, or reflects upon changes in cultural history across the lifespan of cinema.

Drawing on film history, critical theory, archival studies of Faulkner’s screenplays and scholarship about his work in Hollywood, the nine essays show a keen awareness of literary modernism and its relation to film.

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Faulkner and Mystery

Annette Trefzer

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.

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Faulkner's Geographies

Edited by Jay Watson and Ann J. Abadie

The recent spatial turn in social theory and cultural studies opens up exciting new possibilities for the study of William Faulkner’s literature. The fictional domains of Yoknapatawpha County and Jefferson, Mississippi, are not simply imagined communities but imaginative geographies of remarkable complexity and detail, as evidenced by the maps Faulkner created of his “apocryphal” county. Exploring the diverse functions of space in Faulkner’s artistic vision, the eleven essays in Faulkner’s Geographies delve deep into Yoknapatawpha but also reach beyond it, to uncover unsuspected connections and flows linking local, regional, national, hemispheric, and global geographies in Faulkner’s writings.

Individual contributions examine the influence of the plantation as a land-use regime on Faulkner’s imagination of north Mississippi’s geography; the emergence of “micro-Souths” as a product of modern migratory patterns in the urban North of Faulkner’s fiction; the enlistment of the author’s work in the geopolitics of the cultural Cold War during the 1950s; the historical and literary affiliations between Faulkner’s Deep South and Greater Mexico; the local and idiosyncratic as alternatives to region and nation; the unique intersection of regional and metropolitan geographies that Faulkner encountered as a novice writer immersed in the literary culture of New Orleans; the uses of feminist geography to trace the interplay of gender, space, and movement; and the circulation of Caribbean and “Black South” spaces and itineraries through Faulkner’s masterpiece, Absalom, Absalom!

By bringing new attention to the function of space, place, mapping, and movement in his literature, Faulkner’s Geographies seeks to redraw the very boundaries of Faulkner studies.

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Fifty Years after Faulkner

edited by Jay Watson and Ann J. Abadie

These essays examine issues across the wide arc of Faulkner’s extraordinary career, from his aesthetic apprenticeship in the visual arts, to late-career engagements with the Cold War, the civil rights movement, and beyond, to the place of death in his artistic vision and the long, varied afterlives he and his writings have enjoyed in literature and popular culture. Contributors deliver stimulating reassessments of Faulkner’s first novel, Soldiers’ Pay, his final novel, The Reivers, and much of the important work between. Scholars explore how a broad range of elite and lowbrow cultural forms—plantation diaries, phonograph records, pulp magazines—shaped Faulkner’s capacious imagination, and how his works were translated into such media as film and modern dance. Essays place Faulkner’s writings in dialogue with those of such fellow twentieth-century authors as W. E. B. Du Bois, Ernest Hemingway, Richard Hall, and Jayne Anne Phillips; locate his work in relation to African American intellectual currents and Global South artistic traditions; and weigh the rewards as well as the risks of dislodging Faulkner from the canonical position he currently occupies.

While Faulkner studies has cultivated an image of the novelist as a neglected genius who toiled in obscurity, a look back fifty years to the final months of the author’s life reveals a widely traveled and celebrated artist whose significance was framed in national and international as well as regional terms. Fifty Years after Faulkner bears out that expansive view, reintroducing us to a writer whose work retains its ability to provoke, intrigue, and surprise a variety of readerships.

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