Download William Faulkner: Self-Presentation and Performance by James G. Watson PDF

By James G. Watson

ISBN-10: 0292791518

ISBN-13: 9780292791510

From the start, William Faulkner's artwork used to be consciously self-presenting. In writing of all types he created and "performed" a fancy set of roles dependent in his existence as he either lived and imagined it. In his fiction, he counterpoised these personae opposed to each other to create a written international of managed chaos, made in his personal protean photograph and reflective of his personal a number of feel of self. during this groundbreaking ebook, James Watson attracts at the whole Faulkner canon, together with letters or even pictures, to decipher the advanced ways that Faulkner positioned himself forth via written performances and screens dependent in and expressive of his emotional biography. the subjects Watson treats comprise the brazenly performative features of The Sound and the Fury and similar manuscripts and privately written files of Faulkner's lifestyles; the ways that his complex marriage and his relationships to male mentors underlie ordinary motifs in his fiction resembling marriage and fatherhood; his studying of Melville, Hawthorne, and Thoreau, and his figuring out via them the problematics of authorial sovereignty; his presentation of himself as "Old Moster," the artist-God of his fictional cosmos; and the complicated of private and epistolary relationships that lies at the back of novels from infantrymen' Pay to Requiem for a Nun.

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William Faulkner: Self-Presentation and Performance (Literary Modernism Series)

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15], then in silhouette leaning forward to kiss him [Fig. 16]. In this context, the final, aftercurtain drawing may depict Marietta as still sleeping rather than dead and the images of Pierrot within and outside the mirror manifestations of her dream of him, of what, to his astonishment, she has done and been in the night. Although she does conclude in her final speech, “The moon will play my body when I die” (Marionettes, 54), Marietta does not die in the play but insists, instead, that she is and is not changed (Marionettes, 42, 43).

Or how many. In his fine introduction to the play, Noel Polk raises that issue in terms of Pierrot, asking whether the play is Pierrot’s “dream of himself as the wouldbe lover” or “a guilt-ridden dream of remorse over what he has done to Marietta” (Marionettes, xiv). Each is tenable, and Polk concludes that Faulkner seems to have intended “to synthesize both types” (Marionettes, xxix). Without proposing Marietta’s agency in the creation of the Shade, Polk also proposes a third possibility, one consistent with that and with Faulkner’s painful relationship with Estelle then: “that it is Marietta who has in fact deserted Pierrot, broken his heart, as it were, after having recognized in herself the power to do so, and left him to waste himself away in dissipation, rather than the other way around” (Marionettes, xxiv).

This amounts to a rereading of Faulkner’s own correspondence from Toronto, and the addition of a synchronized flash camera provides him the metaphor for that fragile moment of heroism he exhumed and reimagined from his letters and photographs then, the moment “preserved and prolonged,” as the narrator says, “only on paper: a picture, a few written words that any match . . can obliterate in an instant (cswf, 531). This conjunction, at the conclusion of “All the Dead Pilots,” is also a fictional self-presentation, one that recalls in new combination Faulkner’s foreshortened military moment in Canada, his presentation of himself as an aviator on paper in various mediums, and the flash and glare of imaginative performance that informs the best of them.

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