William Faulkner: An introduction to the fiction, with special attention to how, following 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. We will read 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, questions of genre and subject formation, constructions of gender and race, especially “southern masculinity” and “whiteness as property.” The format will be primarily lecture with discussion, questions, and comments. Several films, including excerpts from a selection of films made from Faulkner’s Hollywood scripts, will be screened.
Two examinations will be required. The first is an essay-type midterm examination, and the second is a combination essay and short answer examination following the completion of the four major novels. One paper, a final course essay of eight to ten pages, is also required.