Light in August

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© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Light in August: Selected full-text books and articles

William Faulkner's Light in August By Harold Bloom Chelsea House, 1988
Librarian's tip: This is a book of literary criticism
The Fragile Thread: The Meaning of Form in Faulkner's Novels By Donald M. Kartiganer University of Massachusetts Press, 1979
Librarian's tip: Chap. 3 "Light in August"
Ordered by Words: Language and Narration in the Novels of William Faulkner By Judith Lockyer Southern Illinois University Press, 1991
Librarian's tip: Chap. 3 "As I Lay Dying and Light in August: Communities of Language"
Faulkner's Parable of the Cave: Ideology and Social Criticism in Light in August By Lutz, John The Mississippi Quarterly, Vol. 52, No. 3, Summer 1999
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).
Persons in Pieces: Race and Aphanisis in Light in August By Sullivan, M. Nell The Mississippi Quarterly, Vol. 49, No. 3, Summer 1996
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).
Nobody's Home: Speech, Self, and Place in American Fiction from Hawthorne to Delillo By Arnold Weinstein Oxford University Press, 1993
Librarian's tip: Chap. 9 "Faulkner: Fusion and Confusion in Light in August"
Faulkner in Cultural Context By Donald M. Kartiganer; Ann J. Abadie University Press of Mississippi, 1997
Librarian's tip: "The Guns of Light in August: War and Peace in the Second Thirty Years War" begins on p. 125 and "Light in August: A Novel in Passing?" begins on p. 148
Faulkner: Masks and Metaphors By Lothar Hönnighausen University Press of Mississippi, 1997
Librarian's tip: Chap. Five "New Modes of Metaphor: The Sound and the Fury, Light in August, and A Fable"
Between Couch and Piano: Psychoanalysis, Music, Art and Neuroscience By Gilbert J. Rose Brunner-Routledge, 2004
Librarian's tip: Chap. 4 "The Music of Time in Faulkner's Light in August"
Stages of the Clown: Perspectives on Modern Fiction from Dostoyevsky to Beckett By Richard Pearce Southern Illinois University Press, 1970
Librarian's tip: Chap. 4 "Faulkner's One Ring Circus: Light in August"
The Modern American Novel of Violence By Patrick W. Shaw Whitston, 2000
Librarian's tip: "William Faulkner's Light in August" begins on p. 15
Faulkner's Artistic Vision: The Bizarre and the Terrible By Ryuichi Yamaguchi Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2004
Librarian's tip: Chap. 7 "A Yoknapatawpha Pantheon: Light in August"
Robbing the Mother: Women in Faulkner By Deborah Clarke University Press of Mississippi, 1994
Librarian's tip: Chap. 4 "Bodies and Language Light in August and The Wild Palms"
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