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Natural Aristocracy [electronic resource] : History, Ideology, and the Production of William Faulkner

By: Railey, Kevin.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: Tuscaloosa : University of Alabama Press, 2013Description: 1 online resource (232 p.).ISBN: 9780817386351.Subject(s): Aristocracy (Political science) in literature | Faulkner, William, 1897-1962 -- Knowledge -- History | Faulkner, William, 1897-1962 -- Political and social views | Literature and history -- Mississippi -- History -- 20th century | Literature and society -- Mississippi -- History -- 20th century | Southern States -- In literatureGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Natural Aristocracy : History, Ideology, and the Production of William FaulknerDDC classification: 813.52 | 813/.52 Online resources: Click here to access online
Contents:
Contents; Preface; Acknowledgments; Part One: History, Ideology, Subjectivity; 1. Faulkner''s Mississippi: Ideology and Southern History; 2. Faulkner''s Ideology: Ideology and Subjectivity; Part Two: Faulkner, Paternalism, Liberalism; 3. The Sound and the Fury: Faulkner''s Birth into History; 4. Sanctuary: The Social Psychology of Paternalism; 5. As I Lay Dying and Light in August: The Social Realities of Liberalism; Part Three: Faulkner''s Authorial Ideology; 6. Absalom, Absalom! and Natural Aristocracy; 7. Absalom, Absalom! and the Southern Ideology of Race
Part Four: Faulkner''s Social Vision8. The Snopes Trilogy as Social Vision; 9. The Reivers: Imaginary Resolutions and Utopian Yearnings; Notes; Works Cited; Index
Summary:   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 Faulkner's 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 Faulkner's fiction, between southern history and Faulkner's subjectivity. Railey argues that Faulkner's 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.   After examining two prevailing and opposing ideologies in the South of Faulkner's lifetime--paternalism and liberalism--Railey shows how Faulkner's working-through of his identifications with these forces helped develop his values and perceptions as an artist and individual. Railey reads Faulkner's 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 Faulkner's explorations of various manifestations of paternalism and liberalism and the intense conflict between them, as well as his attempts to resolve that conflict.   Providing new insights into the full range of Faulkner's fiction, Natural Aristocracy is the first systematic materialist critique of the author and his world.
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Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
PS3511 | PS3511.A86 Z94685 1999 (Browse shelf) http://uttyler.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=1295108 Available EBL1295108

Description based upon print version of record.

Contents; Preface; Acknowledgments; Part One: History, Ideology, Subjectivity; 1. Faulkner''s Mississippi: Ideology and Southern History; 2. Faulkner''s Ideology: Ideology and Subjectivity; Part Two: Faulkner, Paternalism, Liberalism; 3. The Sound and the Fury: Faulkner''s Birth into History; 4. Sanctuary: The Social Psychology of Paternalism; 5. As I Lay Dying and Light in August: The Social Realities of Liberalism; Part Three: Faulkner''s Authorial Ideology; 6. Absalom, Absalom! and Natural Aristocracy; 7. Absalom, Absalom! and the Southern Ideology of Race

Part Four: Faulkner''s Social Vision8. The Snopes Trilogy as Social Vision; 9. The Reivers: Imaginary Resolutions and Utopian Yearnings; Notes; Works Cited; Index

  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 Faulkner's 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 Faulkner's fiction, between southern history and Faulkner's subjectivity. Railey argues that Faulkner's 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.   After examining two prevailing and opposing ideologies in the South of Faulkner's lifetime--paternalism and liberalism--Railey shows how Faulkner's working-through of his identifications with these forces helped develop his values and perceptions as an artist and individual. Railey reads Faulkner's 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 Faulkner's explorations of various manifestations of paternalism and liberalism and the intense conflict between them, as well as his attempts to resolve that conflict.   Providing new insights into the full range of Faulkner's fiction, Natural Aristocracy is the first systematic materialist critique of the author and his world.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Railey (Buffalo State College) seizes on the accepted scholarly view that Faulkner was obsessed with history and with his place in it and builds a strong case for the profound influence of sociohistorical factors on Faulkner's work. Inspired by materialist criticism, Railey's systematic study identifies and historicizes Faulkner's special authorial ideology, an ideology that "closely resembles the notion of natural aristocracy articulated in America by Thomas Jefferson." Railey concludes that "Faulkner was concerned with conflicts within the ruling class of the South." The author delves into historical reality--particularly class structure as revealed in paternalism, populism, and liberalism--and connects Faulkner's views of history and his fiction through fresh, penetrating readings of the novels. He compares The Sound and the Fury to Light in August; points out that in Absalom, Absalom! Faulkner articulated a historical ideal and a "sense of himself, his subjectivity" to which he could be true; and explores in the Snopes trilogy "the effects on a society that had forsaken the ideals of natural aristocracy." Railey's intelligent arguments ask for careful consideration. For large academic libraries serving upper-division undergraduates through advanced Faulkner scholars. R. F. Cayton; Marietta College

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Kevin Railey is currently dean of the Graduate School and professor of English at Buffalo State, State University of New York.

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