Capital District Council for the Social Studies (Albany, NY)
Associate Professor of English, University of Richmond
National Humanities Center Fellow
Faulkner’s fifth novel, As I Lay Dying (1931), followed what many consider his most accomplished work, The Sound and the Fury. Yet the story of the Bundren clan displays many of the hallmark elements of literary modernism as other Faulkner novels. Nevertheless, it remains one of Faulkner’s most opaque while also most fascinating works in part because of its differences as well as similarities to the Compson saga. Writing about impoverished white hill farmers in the most advanced – and decidedly modern – formal techniques available to him, Faulkner produced a dazzling tour de force that engages the material history of the Southern rural poor and expands meaningfully on his treatment elsewhere of a troubled region and its fading aristocracy.
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