Sound and the Fury

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

William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury
Harold Bloom.
Chelsea House, 1988
Librarian’s tip: This is a book of literary criticism
The Art of Faulkner's Novels
Peter Swiggart.
University of Texas Press, 1962
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Six "Rage against Time: The Sound and the Fury"
The Prophetic Voice in Modern Fiction
William R. Mueller.
Association Press, 1959
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "The Theme of Suffering: William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury"
Much Ado about Nothing: Language and Desire in 'The Sound and the Fury.' (Special Issue: William Faulkner)
Barker, Deborah E.; Kamps, Ivo.
The Mississippi Quarterly, Vol. 46, No. 3, Summer 1993
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).
The Fragile Thread: The Meaning of Form in Faulkner's Novels
Donald M. Kartiganer.
University of Massachusetts Press, 1979
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "The Sound and the Fury"
Children of the Dark House: Text and Context in Faulkner
Noel Polk.
University Press of Mississippi, 1998
Librarian’s tip: "Trying Not to Say: A Primer on the Language of The Sound and the Fury" begins on p. 99
Ordered by Words: Language and Narration in the Novels of William Faulkner
Judith Lockyer.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1991
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Quentin Compson: Isolation and the Power of Exchange"
Benjy, the Reader, and Death: At the Fence in 'The Sound and the Fury.'(Special Issue: William Faulkner)
Brown, Arthur A.
The Mississippi Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 3, Summer 1995
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).
Robbing the Mother: Women in Faulkner
Deborah Clarke.
University Press of Mississippi, 1994
Faulkner: Masks and Metaphors
Lothar Hönnighausen.
University Press of Mississippi, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Five "New Modes of Metaphor in The Sound and the Fury, Light in August, and A Fable"
Faulkner's People: A Complete Guide and Index to Characters in the Fiction of William Faulkner
Robert W. Kirk; Marvin Klotz.
University of California Press, 1963
Librarian’s tip: "The Sound and the Fury (1929)" begins on p. 28
Faulkner at 100: Retrospect and Prospect
Donald M. Kartiganer; Ann J. Abadie.
University Press of Mississippi, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of The Sound and the Fury begins on p. 70
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