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Reading Faulkner - The Sound and the Fury

Reading Faulkner

The Sound and the Fury

By Stephen M. Ross & Noel Polk
Series: Reading Faulkner Series

Paperback : 9780878059362, 208 pages, October 1996

A handbook for interpreting Faulkner’s great novel


This volume guides readers through one of William Faulkner’s most complex novels. By common consent The Sound and the Fury is a seminal document of twentieth-century literature. Almost from the beginning, it has been a litmus test for critical approaches—from New Criticism to biography and manuscript analysis.

In the past two decades, nearly all of the newest critical theories have come calling on Faulkner’s novel. Yet it resists or evades even the most ardent theorists’ efforts to contain it, and much of its total accomplishment remains unplumbed.

This volume, like others in the Reading Faulkner Series, provides line-by-line interpretation and concentration on individual words and sentences, visual dimensions, time shifts, intricacies of narration, and other obscurities. It explores Faulkner’s words as they appear on the page, deciphering and responding to them in their linear progression and in their cumulating resonances inside and outside the text. Important allusions and references are identified, as are dates and historical passages. For many passages alternative readings are offered. The pagination is keyed to the definitive text of the Vintage edition.