Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Global Faulkner

Global Faulkner

Melanie R. Benson
Manuel Broncano
Keith Cartwright
Leigh Anne Duck
George B. Handley
Jeff Karem
Mario Materassi
John T. Matthews
Tierno Monénembo
Elizabeth Steeby
Takako Tanaka
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 224
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Global Faulkner
    Book Description:

    Today, debates about globalization raise both hopes and fears. But what about during William Faulkner's time? Was he aware of worldwide cultural, historical, and economic developments? Just how interested was Faulkner in the global scheme of things?

    The contributors toGlobal Faulknersuggest that a global context is helpful for recognizing the broader international meanings of Faulkner's celebrated regional landscape. Several scholars address how the flow of capital from the time of slavery through the Cold War period in his fiction links Faulkner's South with the larger world. Other authors explore the literary similarities that connect Faulkner's South to Latin America, Africa, Spain, Japan, and the Caribbean. In essays by scholars from around the world, Faulkner emerges in trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific contexts, in a pan-Caribbean world, and in the space of the Middle Passage and the African Atlantic. The Nobel laureate's fiction is linked to that of such writers as Gabriel García Márquez, Wole Soyinka, Miguel de Cervantes, and Kenji Nakagami.

    eISBN: 978-1-60473-354-9
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. ix-xiv)
    Annette Trefzer

    In our globally interconnected world, William Faulkner’s “postage stamp of native soil” can be read as a local landscape in a global network. But what precisely are the effects of such a reading? What are the social, cultural, and literary implications of a global worldview for the study of Faulkner? This volume attempts to initiate a dialogue about the global dimensions in and of Faulkner’s work.

    Twenty-five years ago, at the 1982 Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference devoted to “International Perspectives,” scholars from nine nations gathered in Oxford, Mississippi, to discuss Faulkner’s global reception and status in different parts of the...

  4. Note on the Conference
    (pp. xv-2)
  5. Many Mansions: Faulkner’s Cold War Conflicts
    (pp. 3-23)
    John T. Matthews

    Had Faulkner completed the Snopes saga as he first imagined it in the mid-1920s, Flem’s story might have remained simply a satire about the rise of a redneck—a bemused caricature of the implausible rural success stories made possible by novelties of modernity like speculative capitalism and a culture of consumption.¹The Great Gatsbychez Frenchman’s Bend. ButThe Hamlet, appearing at the end of the decade of the Great Depression, also takes note of the corresponding plight of the dispossessed, even if it still laughs at the grotesques serving Mammon.The Hamletsounds proletarian overtones: the rage of the...

  6. From Colony to Empire: Postmodern Faulkner
    (pp. 24-42)
    Leigh Anne Duck

    Faulkner’s work is renowned for its attention to the presence of a regional past, a theme unquestionably central to his fiction. No matter what period his narratives represent, his fictional worlds are saturated with the traces of past times, and he seems phenomenally attuned to accretion, the process by which the past—as a collection of conflicts and outcomes, choices and (more often) compulsive actions—produces the present. But the fame accorded this aspect of his work tends to obscure how these fictions record a past and present already sedimenting into a future. Many of Faulkner’s texts explore early stages...

  7. The Fetish of Surplus Value; or, What the Ledgers Say
    (pp. 43-58)
    Melanie R. Benson

    Late in William Faulkner’sThe Sound and the Fury(1929), Jason Compson’s boss accuses him of embezzling money from his own family: “‘[A] man never gets anywhere,’” Earl warns him, “‘if fact and his ledgers dont square.’”¹ Jason’s bitter defensiveness and sense of entitlement produce a skewed sense of moral rectitude that allows him to condone his dishonest bookkeeping; but elsewhere in Faulkner’s works, instances of fatally botched accounts signify more encompassing crises of value in the scrupulous New South. In the Summer 2002 issue of theMississippi Quarterly, Richard Godden and Noel Polk demonstrate brilliantly—by way of a...

  8. On the Tragedies and Comedies of the New World Faulkner
    (pp. 59-77)
    George B. Handley

    Faulkner’s fiction, as studies have recently demonstrated, has relevance not only to Southern regional or U.S. national identity but to communities across the various nations affected by a shared history of slavery, civil conflict, devastation of indigenous populations, racialized social division, and the persistence of colonialism.¹ This is true not merely because of common thematic interests of authors from other American nations or because of Faulkner’s notable influence on Caribbean and Latin American writers. What has emerged in the reassessment of Faulkner’s relevance to New World cultures is a call for a new kind of reader that marks a departure...

  9. Blood on the Leaves, Blood at the Root: Ritual Carriers and Sacrificial Crises of Transition in Yoknapatawpha and Oyo
    (pp. 78-98)
    Keith Cartwright

    It is a privilege to come to Oxford to discuss a Nobel Prize–winning Southern author who has been accused of treason against his home state but has also had to defend himself against the charge of “hating Northerners.” He has argued that “the root cause of the Civil War certainly was not secession” but may be found in a “scapegoat syndrome” whereby “if you have succeeded in robbing society blind you can persuade the robbed and dissatisfied sections of society that the real causes of their dissatisfaction can be traced to a particular sector of the community.”¹ Along with...

  10. Reading Faulkner in Spain, Reading Spain in Faulkner
    (pp. 99-115)
    Manuel Broncano

    While browsing one day in 1945 in a bookstore in the Madrid of the post–Civil War years, the young Spanish writer Juan Benet saw at his feet a book that had fallen off the shelves. The slim volume was open at a page that read: “VARDAMAN: Mi madre es un pez” (My mother is a fish). That day, Juan Benet avowedly “discovered Faulkner” and turned into a lifelong admirer of the Southern novelist, whose writings would play a capital role in the configuration of contemporary Spanish fiction. The anecdote, perhaps apocryphal, of the young writer and his “epiphany” when...

  11. The Global/Local Nexus of Patriarchy: Japanese Writers Encounter Faulkner
    (pp. 116-134)
    Takako Tanaka

    William Faulkner became world famous after he received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950. Though there were some Americans who thought that what Faulkner wrote was a disgrace rather than an honor for his country,¹ the American government was smarter: it sent him to Brazil in 1954 and to Japan in 1955 as a sort of cultural ambassador.² Faulkner was approached for political reasons domestically and internationally, and his visit to Japan also assumed some diplomatic value.³ He came to Japan only four years after the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty, which had enabled Japan to regain...

  12. Artificial Women, the Pygmalion Paradigm, and Faulkner’s Gordon in Mosquitoes
    (pp. 135-150)
    Mario Materassi

    The account of a comically ill-fated three-day excursion on Lake Pontchartrain involving more than a dozen intellectuals, artists, hangers-on, and members of the New Orleans underworld,Mosquitoesis largely aroman à clef. Most of the characters are thinly disguised portraits of people whom Faulkner had come to know during his formative sojourn in New Orleans from 1925 to 1926. This motley coterie is treated with pervasive irony that often turns the various likenesses into downright caricatures. Not even Gordon, the aloof sculptor who stands out from the crowd of futile professional conversationalists on board theNausikaa, is spared this...

  13. Almost Feminine, Almost Brother, Almost Southern: The Transnational Queer Figure of Charles Bon in Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom!
    (pp. 151-161)
    Elizabeth Steeby

    Perhaps more than any of his other works, William Faulkner’s 1936 plantation novelAbsalom, Absalom!is a global tale mapped onto scenes of intimacy. In this novel, Faulkner’s penchant for blurring lines of longitude and latitude, for merging stories with histories, has far-reaching implications. My focus here is on that tension between the intimate and the worldly, the local and the foreign, which structures how and where characters come to be locatable within this text. Desire and narrative work to produce one another, both within the novel and in the larger historical context that frames it. This dialectical relationship between...

  14. Fear of a Black Atlantic? African Passages in Absalom, Absalom! and The Last Slaver
    (pp. 162-173)
    Jeff Karem

    From anxieties about slave revolts in San Domingo, to plans for a sphere of influence, to schemes for outright colonization, the United States has looked to its southern neighbor, the Caribbean, with both horror and desire, attributing to the region fecundity and refinement to be envied, but also miscegenation, primitivism, and violence to be feared. In William Faulkner’s work, this connection is similarly conflicted, as the Caribbean (particularly the Latin Caribbean) resonates both as a register of difference and as an uncanny double for the South. In recent years, with the rise of globally directed American studies, many excellent critics,...

  15. Faulkner and Me
    (pp. 174-184)
    Tierno Monénembo

    The pin-ball machine, the jukebox, the drink machine, the TV, still completely new in this part of Africa, all these machines were for us, the “underdeveloped,” like Armstrong’s then-recent steps on the moon. The wooden shacks lined up as in a Confederate soldier’s camp, everything seemed like in America on this neglected campus stuck between the bypass and the jungle. It was the early 1970s, in Abidjan on the Ivory Coast, at the university residence hall Mermoz when I was like a colleague of Schumann and Burnham, the tragic figures ofPylon!

    It was at the corner of the drink...

  16. Contributors
    (pp. 185-188)
  17. Index
    (pp. 189-194)