Faulkner in the Twenty-First Century
A turn-of-the-century map of where Faulkner studies have traveled and where they are headed
Contributions by Deborah N. Cohn, Leigh Anne Duck, Robert W. Hamblin, Michael Kreyling, Barbara Ladd, Walter Benn Michaels, Patrick O'Donnell, Theresa M. Towner, Annette Trefzer, and Karl F. Zender
Faulkner in the Twenty-First Century presents the thoughts of ten noted Faulkner scholars who spoke at the twenty-seventh annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference at the University of Mississippi. Theresa M. Towner attacks the traditional classification of Faulkner's works as “major” and “minor” and argues that this causes the neglect of other significant works and characters. Michael Kreyling uses photographs of Faulkner to analyze the interrelationships of Faulkner's texts with the politics and culture of Mississippi.
Barbara Ladd and Deborah Cohn invoke the relevance of Faulkner's works to “the other South,” postcolonial Latin America. Also, approaching Faulkner from a postcolonial perspective, Annette Trefzer looks at his contradictory treatment of Native Americans.
Within the tragic fates of such characters as Quentin Compson, Gail Hightower, and Rosa Coldfield, Leigh Ann Duck finds an inability to cope with painful memories. Patrick O'Donnell examines the use of the future tense and Faulkner's growing skepticism of history as a linear progression. To postmodern critics who denigrate “The Fire and the Hearth,” Karl F. Zender offers a rebuttal. Walter Benn Michaels contends that in Faulkner's South, and indeed the United States as a whole, the question of racial identification tends to overpower all other issues. Faulkner's recurring interest in frontier life and values inspires Robert W. Hamblin's piece.