Faulkner from Within: Destructive and Generative Being in the Novels of William Faulkner

SKU: 1-932559-02-7

William H. Rueckert

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1-932559-02-7 ($28.00, paperback); © 2004 by Parlor Press. 384 pages, including notes, bibliographical references, and index

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1-932559-03-5 ($55.00, cloth); 1-932559-04-3 ($12.00 Adobe eBook)

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Faulkner from Within: Destructive and Generative Being in the Novels of William Faulkner is the culmination of William H. Rueckert’s lifetime of study of this great American novelist. Rueckert tracks Faulkner’s development as a novelist through eighteen novels—ranging from Flags in the Dust to The Reivers—to show the turn in Faulkner from destructive to generative being, from tragedy to comedy, from pollution to purification and redemption. At the heart of Faulkner from Within is Rueckert’s sustained treatment of Go Down, Moses, a turning point in Faulkner’s career away from the destructive selves of the earlier novels and—as first manifest in Ike McCaslin—toward the generative selves of his later work. Faulkner from Within is a wide-ranging, beautifully written appreciation and analysis of the imaginative life of a great American author and his complex work.

About the Author

William H. Rueckert, the “Dean of Burke Studies,” authored or edited numerous groundbreaking books and articles on Kenneth Burke, William Faulkner, and others. They include the landmark study, Kenneth Burke and the Drama of Human Relations (1963, 1982), Critical Responses to Kenneth Burke, 1924-1966 (1969), and Encounters with Kenneth Burke (1994). With Angelo Bonadonna, he is the editor of Burke’s On Human Nature, A Gathering While Everything Flows: Essays, 1967-1984 (2005). He is also the author of Glenway Wescott (1965) and the editor of Letters from Kenneth Burke to William H. Rueckert, 1959-1987 (Parlor, 2003). His essays include the often-cited “Literature and Ecology: An Experiment in Ecocriticism.” Shortly before his death in late 2006, Rueckert published the long-awaited edition of Burke's Essays Toward a Symbolic of Motives, 1950-1955.



List of Abbreviations 

Part I: 1927-1932

1. Faulkner Discovers His Native Territory, Flags in the Dust (1926-1927; published 1973)

2. Faulkner’s First Great Novel: Anguish in the Genes, The Sound and the Fury (1929)

3. Destructive and Destroyed Being 

The Coffin of Being, As I Lay Dying (1930)
A Grammar of Negative Being, Sanctuary (1931)
Demonic Incarnation and the Pestilential Word, Light in August (1932)

Part II: 1935-1940

4. Verticality and Flight Passions, Pylon (1935)
5. Faulkner and the Civil War
Sutpen’s Vortex of Destruction, Absalom, Absalom! (1936)
Bayard’s Last Stand, The Unvanquished (1938)
6. Faulkner’s Dialectical Novel, The Wild Palms (1939)
7. Economic, Moral, and Sexual Passions in The Hamlet, The Hamlet (1940) 

Part III: 1942

8. Curing the Work of Time, Go Down, Moses (1942)

Part IV: 1948-1962

9. Beginning the Work of Redemption
The Education of Chick Mallison, Intruder in the Dust (1948)
Redeeming the Earlier Works 
Faulkner’s Paladin, Knight’s Gambit (1949)
10 December 1950   272
10. Cleansing the Temple, Requiem for a Nun (1951)
11. War, Power and The Book: Faulkner’s Fable for Tomorrow, A Fable (1944-1953: published, 1954)
12. Social Comedy in Yoknapatawpha County, The Town (1957) and The Mansion (1959)
13. Serene and Comic: The Joyful Act of Closure, The Reivers (1962)


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