William Faulkner: An Interpretation

William Faulkner: An Interpretation

William Faulkner: An Interpretation

William Faulkner: An Interpretation

Excerpt

In his review of The Portable Faulkner Robert Penn Warren suggests that we should study isolated incidents to discover the importance of compulsion and will in the work of Faulkner. But I believe that the themes of rigidity (compulsion) as a personal and social evil and the need to rebel against rigidity in order to gain freedom (will) are so important to Faulkner that he chooses to concretize them in the myth of father and son. The "images" Warren mentions are, in a real sense, the underlying principles of structure in the major novels.

I investigate certain related problems which have, for the most part, been neglected-for instance, Faulkner's characterization of women, and his use of the Bible. I consider both Freud and Jung because they are concerned not only with myth, but with the need to grow up, to adjust to the ever-increasing anguish of our contemporary world. I try to indicate that Faulkner can hunt--to use one of his favorite words-for the solution to his own psychological problems and, in turn, to those of Darl Bundren, Joe Christmas, or Charles Mallison Jr. Thus the plan of the book.

This book could not have been written without the aid of three of my teachers. I wish to thank especially Charles A. Allen of Stanford University, Richard Scowcroft, also of Stanford, and Charles Child Walcutt of Queens College for their answers to my frantic questions. My debt to my wife can be acknowledged at this time, but never discharged.

I also want to express my gratitude to the following for permission to quote copyrighted material:

To Liveright Publishing Corporation, for quotations from Soldiers' Pay, byWilliam Faulkner (copyright R 1953 William Faulkner, permission of Liveright Publishers, New York . . .

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