Children of the Dark House: Text and Context in Faulkner

Children of the Dark House: Text and Context in Faulkner

Children of the Dark House: Text and Context in Faulkner

Children of the Dark House: Text and Context in Faulkner

Excerpt

I don't know anything about inspiration because I don't know what inspiration is -- I've heard about it, but I never saw it.

LG 248

I received a copy of the printed book and I found that I didn't even want to see what kind of jacket Smith had put on it. I seemed to have a vision of it and the other ones subsequent to The Sound and the Fury ranked in order upon a shelf while I looked at the titled backs of them with a flagging attention which was almost distaste, and upon which each succeeding title registered less and less, until at last Attention itself seemed to say, Thank God I shall never need to open any one of them again.

Introduction 708

The essays in this collection derive from an abiding interest in the intense reciprocities between William Faulkner's life and his work, between his lived and his imaginative lives. Most of them explore his engagement with his psychic life, the last two his more public social and political selves. The first concerns the specific site of that reciprocity, the manuscript and typescript pages on to which he translated, transmuted, one life into the other -- through what conscious or unconscious processes of refraction, repression, or sheer exploitation we are only now beginning to understand.

The first essay thus signals where, for me, things begin in literary criticism, the encounter with the text at the level of its most basic components: the words the author put on the paper, the conditions under which they got there, the mechanical means by which they were altered or left alone in the typing, editing, and printing processes. A

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