This course is an introduction to the fiction of William Faulkner. Our focus is on how, following Ezra Pound’s modernist dictum, “Make it new,” Faulkner made the “Old South,” its vexed history and complex legacies, “new” and “modern” in his novels and short stories. Our readings include four of his major novels, The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying,Light in August, and Absalom, Absalom!, along with a selection of his short stories and his final comic novel, The Reivers. We will explore cultural and historical contexts, local and global positionality, questions of genre and subject formation, constructions of gender and race, especially “southern masculinity.”
Several film versions of Faulkner’s fiction and excerpts from films for which Faulkner wrote the screenplay will be screened.
Our format will be primarily lecture, with time allotted for discussion, questions, and comments.