English 100

Junior Seminar: William Faulkner and American Literary Criticism

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
8 Spring 2006 Hale, Dorothy J.
Hale, Dorothy
TTh 11-12:30 221 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Faulkner, W.: The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, Light in August, Absalom, Absalom!


How and why has William Faulkner been elevated into the pantheon of great American writers? To answer this question, we will study Faulkner's work in relation to the American literary critics who have significantly fashioned--and regularly revised--the terms in which Faulkner's success has been measured. On the one hand we will investigate the salient social issues that influenced both Faulkner's literary production and his critical reception; on the other hand, we will consider general theoretical topics such as the role of the academy in creating literary reputation, the rise of the novel and film as high art forms, the problem of aesthetic value, and the issue of authorial intention. We will read--closely--four Faulkner novels as well as some of his interviews, speeches, letters, and essays. A required course reader provides a selection of criticism on Faulkner. The film adaptation of Intruder in the Dust will give us a sense of where Hollywood thought Faulkner's mass appeal might lie.

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