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Faulkner and Popular Culture

Faulkner and Popular Culture

Edited by Doreen Fowler & Ann J. Abadie
Series: Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Series

Paperback : 9780878054343, 292 pages, June 1990

These essays seek out the influence of popular culture upon the Nobel Prize author and note forays into the pop culture world.


The works of William Faulkner are charged with elements of such great diversity that they are an almost inexhaustible resource for study and analysis. One of the most diverse is the subject of this fascinating volume.

However alien Faulkner professed popular culture to be to his conception of art and taste, his works are imbued with its inescapable influence. The relationship between Faulkner, a novelist not known for public accessibility, and the culture of the masses makes this an exceptional volume indeed. That the author of dense, riddling novels like The Sound and the Fury, Absalom, Absalom! and other works associated with high modernist art could also appeal to the popular tastes and be influenced by popular culture is a phenomenon made evident in this collection of essays.

Faulkner's works reveal that he was drawn to popular culture repeatedly and that this “lowbrow art” provided material for his works and for his livelihood. His attempt to write a novel with wide appeal is represented in Sanctuary. His numerous associations with Hollywood and scriptwriting and his publishing stories in popular magazines like the Saturday Evening Post pushed Faulkner to modify his literary modernism to the demands of a wider audience.