Faulkner and Humor
Essays that seek the humorous streak in the Nobel Laureate’s output
Readers know that humor abounds in the writings of William Faulkner, but the thousands of articles and hundreds of books about his fiction contain little commentary on Faulknerian humor. To give attention to this subject crying out for schlarly treatment, numerous aspects of Faulknerian humor were explored at the Eleventh Annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference held in 1984 at the University of Mississippi.
Thirteen papers presented at that conference are collected in this volume. Deploring the scholar's tendency to emphasize only Faulkner's serious themes and to neglect the humor that is a natural part of his world, the editors have collected papers showing that humor is not a separate, subordinate part of Faulkner but is indeed at the heart of his writing. The various essays find natural humor even in The Sound and the Fury and Light in August, novels which are traditionally viewed only as tragedies. The elements of Southerwestern humor, folk humor, black humor, and classical comedy emerge from Faulkner's books and give them much of their vigor.
Thus Faulkner and Humor offers fresh vision for Faulkner's legions of readers who have seen his fiction as arising only from a dark and forbidding world.