Cover image for Natural aristocracy : history, ideology, and the production of William Faulkner
Natural aristocracy : history, ideology, and the production of William Faulkner
Railey, Kevin, 1954-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, c1999.
Physical Description:
xviii, 213 p.
Faulkner's Mississippi: ideology and Southern history -- Faulkner's ideology: ideology and subjectivity -- The sound and the fury: Faulkner's birth into history -- Sanctuary: the social psychology of paternalism -- As I lay dying and Light in August: the social realities of liberalism -- Absalom, Absalom! and natural aristocracy -- Absalom, Absalom! and the Southern ideology of race -- The Snopes trilogy as social vision -- The reivers: imaginary resolutions and utopian yearnings.


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Book BILKUTUP0256225 PS3511.A86 Z94685 1999 Central Campus Library

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a Kevin Railey uses a materialist critical approach--which envisions literature as a discourse necessarily interactive with other forces in the world--to identify and historicize FaulknerOCOs authorial identity. Working from the assumption that Faulkner was deeply affected by the sociohistorical forces that surrounded his life, Railey explores the interrelationships between American history and FaulknerOCOs fiction, between southern history and FaulknerOCOs subjectivity. Railey argues that FaulknerOCOs obsession with history and his struggle with specific ideologies affecting southern society and his family guided his development as an artist, influencing and overdetermining characterizations and narrative structures as well as the social vision manifest in his work. By seeing Faulkner the artist and Faulkner the man as one and the same, Railey concludes that the celebrated author wrote himself into history in a way that satisfied the image he had of himself as a natural, artistic aristocrat, based on the notion of natural aristocracy. a After examining two prevailing and opposing ideologies in the South of FaulknerOCOs lifetime--paternalism and liberalism--Railey shows how FaulknerOCOs working-through of his identifications with these forces helped develop his values and perceptions as an artist and individual. Railey reads FaulknerOCOs fiction as exploring social concerns about the demise of paternalism, questions of leadership within liberalism, and doubts about both an aristocracy of heritage and one of wealth. This reading of "The Sound and the Fury," "As I Lay Dying," "Sanctuary," "Light in August," "Absalom, Absalom ," the Snopes trilogy and "The Reivers" details FaulknerOCOs explorations of various manifestations of paternalism and liberalism and the intense conflict between them, as well as his attempts to resolve that conflict. a Providing new insights into the full range of FaulknerOCOs fiction, "Natural Aristocracy" is the first systematic materialist critique of the author and his world. "

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xvii
Part 1 History, Ideology, Subjectivity
1. Faulkner's Mississippi: Ideology and Southern Historyp. 3
2. Faulkner's Ideology: Ideology and Subjectivityp. 29
Part 2 Faulkner, Paternalism, Liberalism
3. The Sound and the Fury: Faulkner's Birth into Historyp. 49
4. Sanctuary: The Social Psychology of Paternalismp. 68
5. As I Lay Dying and Light in August: The Social Realities of Liberalismp. 87
Part 3 Faulkner's Authorial Ideology
6. Absalom, Absalom! and Natural Aristocracyp. 109
7. Absalom, Absalom! and the Southern Ideology of Racep. 127
Part 4 Faulkner's Social Vision
8. The Snopes Trilogy as Social Visionp. 145
9. The Reivers: Imaginary Resolutions and Utopian Yearningsp. 168
Notesp. 177
Works Citedp. 197
Indexp. 207