Absalom, Absalom!

Faulkner, William

William Faulkner, 1897–1962, American novelist, b. New Albany, Miss., one of the great American writers of the 20th cent. Born into an old Southern family named Falkner, he changed the spelling of his last name to Faulkner when he published his first book, a collection of poems entitled The Marble Faun, in 1924. Faulkner trained in Canada as a cadet pilot in the Royal Air Force in 1918, attended the Univ. of Mississippi in 1919–20, and lived in Paris briefly in 1925. In 1931 he bought a pre–Civil War mansion, "Rowanoak," in Oxford, Miss., where he lived, a virtual recluse, for the rest of his life. As a writer Faulkner's primary concern was to probe his own region, the deep South. Most of his novels are set in Yoknapatawpha county, an imaginary area in Mississippi with a colorful history and a richly varied population. The county is a microcosm of the South as a whole, and Faulkner's novels examine the effects of the dissolution of traditional values and authority on all levels of Southern society. One of his primary themes is the abuse of blacks by the Southern whites. Because Faulkner's novels treat the decay and anguish of the South since the Civil War, they abound in violent and sordid events. But they are grounded in a profound and compassionate humanism that celebrates the tragedy, energy, and humor of ordinary human life. The master of a rhetorical, highly symbolic style, Faulkner was also a brilliant literary technician, making frequent use of convoluted time sequences and of the stream of consciousness technique. He was awarded the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature. His best-known novels are The Sound and the Fury (1929), As I Lay Dying (1930), Sanctuary (1931), Light in August (1932), Absalom, Absalom! (1936), The Unvanquished (1938), The Hamlet (1940), Intruder in the Dust (1948), Requiem for a Nun (1951), A Fable (1954; Pulitzer Prize), The Town (1957), The Mansion (1959), and The Reivers (1962; Pulitzer Prize). In addition to novels Faulkner published several volumes of short stories including These 13 (1931), Go Down, Moses (1942), Knight's Gambit (1949), and Big Woods (1955); and collections of essays and poems.

See the reminiscences of his brother, John (1963); biographies by H. H. Waggoner (1959), J. Blotner (2 vol., 1974, repr. 1984), and P. Weinstein (2009); studies by R. P. Adams (1968), L. G. Leary (1973), and J. W. Reed, Jr. (1973); F. J. Hoffman and O. W. Vickery, ed., William Faulkner: Three Decades of Criticism (1960); J. N. Duvall, ed., Faulkner and His Critics (2010).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

'Absalom, Absalom!' and Faulkner's Erroneous Dating of the Haitian Revolution
Godden, Richard.
The Mississippi Quarterly, Vol. 47, No. 3, Summer 1994
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Faulkner: Masks and Metaphors
Lothar Hönnighausen.
University Press of Mississippi, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Six "Metaphor and Narrative in Absalom, Absalom!"
Faulkner's Artistic Vision: The Bizarre and the Terrible
Ryuichi Yamaguchi.
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2004
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "'A Might-Have-Been More True Than Truth': Absalom, Absalom!"
The Art of Faulkner's Novels
Peter Swiggart.
University of Texas Press, 1962
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Nine "A Puritan Tragedy: Absalom, Absalom!"
The Fragile Thread: The Meaning of Form in Faulkner's Novels
Donald M. Kartiganer.
University of Massachusetts Press, 1979
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Absalom, Absalom!"
The Riddle of 'Absalom, Absalom!': Looking at the Wrong Blackbird?
Batty, Nancy E.
The Mississippi Quarterly, Vol. 47, No. 3, Summer 1994
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Jim Bond's America: Denaturalizing the Logic of Slavery in Absalom, Absalom!
Latham, Sean.
The Mississippi Quarterly, Vol. 51, No. 3, Summer 1998
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Sutpen's Designs: Masculine Reproduction and the Unmaking of the Self-Made Man in Absalom, Absalom!
Cunningham, J. Christopher.
The Mississippi Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 3, Summer 1996
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Refiguring the Father: New Feminist Readings of Patriarchy
Patricia Yaeger; Beth Kowaleski-Wallace.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1989
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 11 "Creation by the Father's Fiat: Paternal Narrative, Sexual Anxiety, and the Deauthorizing Designs of Absalom, Absalom!"
Robbing the Mother: Women in Faulkner
Deborah Clarke.
University Press of Mississippi, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "Fantastic Women and Notmothers Absalom, Absalom!"
Unflinching Gaze: Morrison and Faulkner Re-Envisioned
Carol A. Kolmerten; Stephen M. Ross; Judith Bryant Wittenberg.
University Press of Mississippi, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "Untold Stories: Black Daughters in Absalom, Absalom! and The Bluest Eye"
Faulkner at 100: Retrospect and Prospect
Donald M. Kartiganer; Ann J. Abadie.
University Press of Mississippi, 2000
Librarian’s tip: "Absalom, Absalom! and the Challenges of Career Design" begins on p. 100
The Hidden Caribbean "Other" in William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!: An Ideological Ancestry of U.S. Imperialism
Stanchich, Maritza.
The Mississippi Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 3, Summer 1996
PEER-REVIEWED PERIODICAL
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Faulkner, Modernism, and Film: Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha, 1978
Evans Harrington; Ann J. Abadie.
University Press of Mississippi, 1979
Librarian’s tip: "Narration as Creative Act: The Role of Quentin Compson in Absalom, Absalom!" begins on p. 82
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator